Crime Opportunity Theory suggests that offenders make rational choices and choose targets that offer a high reward with little risk and effort. Having the wrong security solutions in place at your business can inevitably leave your facility vulnerable and at high risk of loss.
The picture above illustrates multiple suspects using a homemade vehicle ramp to bypass vehicle spike strips intended to prevent unauthorized vehicles from leaving the property. Occurrences like these occur all over the country, resulting in significant financial loss and damage to reputation. We are going to discuss these occurrences in more detail.
WHO IS MOST AFFECTED BY THESE VEHICLE THEFTS?
You might be wondering who is most affected by these vehicle thefts. While it can happen to anybody at any time, some are at slightly higher risk. The pattern of these incidents indicates that multiple suspects are involved and target parking lots and garages with the intent to steal a high number of vehicles. There are also a few incidents where suspects have targeted high-rise residential parking garages.
While rental car companies have taken significant losses to vehicle theft, there have also been cases where suspects have targeted apartment complexes, high rises, and public parking garages.
In one case, customers at a luxury residential high rise in New York City were experiencing auto-theft at the high rises’ parking garage. As shown in the picture above, the property manager needed something small, simple, and affordable to reduce the risk of future incidents.
After researching potential solutions, they decided to utilize a miniature ultra-shallow mount finger wedge barrier to mitigate future incidents. This solution still allows for pedestrian traffic but is also crash engineered to stop a 15,000 lb. vehicle at an average 10 – 15 mph.
As a result of installing this particular solution, the client has experienced less unauthorized pedestrian traffic and has not experienced any attempted auto thefts. Local residents are also happy to see proactive measures taken to resolve their concerns.
Again, Crime Opportunity Theory suggests criminals make rational choices and choose targets that offer a high reward with little risk and effort. This site no longer identifies as a low-risk target with high rewards.
STATE OR CITY WITH HIGH CRIME RATES
This is an obvious one, but one that needs to be repeated. Some organizations and locations are more prone to criminal incidents. It is important to consider risks and vulnerabilities with the industry you are associated with. For example, and as stated before, car rental facilities may struggle with vehicle theft. However, it may be equally important to consider your city or state’s crime rate and trends.
If there is a rise in auto theft in your city, it may be an indication that your facility could be a target. This is one of the reasons corporate security managers maintain a working relationship with local law enforcement and the crime prevention program to work towards auto theft prevention.
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HOW CAN YOU PREVENT AUTO THEFT AT YOUR FACILITY?
There are a few common ways to prevent the risk of auto theft. Your facility’s risk may also be avoided if you consider Crime Opportunity Theory. Remember that criminals are looking for a high reward and little risk. It should be your goal to minimize the risk of auto theft by alleviating as many opportunities as possible. Here are some common ways to do that.
Prevent crimes of opportunity by taking reasonable steps to secure vehicles and deter easy access like:
- Locking Doors
- Closing Windows
- Keeping Keys and Valuable Items Out of Sight
- Use Anti-Theft Systems Like Alarms
Car manufacturers may employ a variety of options to deter car thieves. In some models, the steering column includes a safety device that prevents a car from starting, and other models have an audible alarm system that will sound to attract attention. And high-end models may have GPS-tracking security devices that can be used to locate a stolen car.
Aftermarket security options include devices that lock onto the steering wheel to prevent movement, audible alarms, and remote start-based security enhancements. Whether you buy a car outfitted with anti-theft protection or add aftermarket upgrades, car theft prevention is the goal.
Related: Common Physical Security Threats
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR CAR THEFT PREVENTION FAILS
If you find yourself in the midst of carjacking, your safety is the most important to protect. Thieves can be unpredictable, and your best chance is to cooperate and give up the car easily. They’ll get away as quickly as possible with your car, but you’ll live to tell about it.
Once you are safe, it’s time to contact the authorities and report the crime. You’ll need some essential information like the make, model, year, and color of the car, as well as identifiers like the license plate number and vehicle identification number (VIN). Rest assured, if you don’t have these numbers memorized, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) can generally provide both based on your vehicle registration records.
Preventing auto theft at commercial and residential facilities is a surprisingly easy feat that becomes second nature in practice. There are a few security integrators in the United States. They specialize in designing and installing effective access control points that can prevent unauthorized vehicles from leaving a facility. The more important questions are, do you currently have ineffective solutions in place and are you willing to have someone re-evaluate your access control point?
If you would like someone to evaluate your facility against auto theft, contact B&B Roadway and Security Solutions today.