Smash and grab robberies pose a significant threat to businesses, especially those with high-value merchandise or easily accessible storefronts. These crimes are characterized by their speed and destructiveness, where thieves break through windows or doors to quickly steal valuable items. Businesses can adopt several proactive measures to mitigate the risk and help prevent smash and grab robberies.

What is a Smash and Grab Robbery?

Smash and grab robberies are typically executed within minutes. Thieves rely on the element of surprise, breaking into premises quickly and fleeing before law enforcement can respond. These attacks generally involve tools like hammers, crowbars, and even vehicles to break through doors and windows, display cases, lockboxes, etc.

Typical business targets for smash and grab attack include:

  • Jewelry Stores: Jewelry stores are among the most at risk due to the high value items and ease of carrying large quantities.
  • Electronic Stores: Stores selling high-end electronics such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets are prime targets because of the high resale value of these items.
  • Luxury Retailers: High-end fashion boutiques and stores selling luxury goods like designer handbags and watches are highly desirable as they can be sold on the black market at a premium rate.
  • Convenience/ Liquor Stores: Cigarettes, lottery tickets, and alcohol are common target items for smash and grab robberies.
  • Pharmacies: Thieves target pharmacies for drugs that can be sold on the black market or for personal use.
  • Dispensaries: Given the value of cannabis products and cash on hand, these have become more common targets.
  • Pawn Shops:  These stores often have a variety of high-value items, including electronics, jewelry, and firearms.

Criminals typically focus on high-value items that are easy to carry. However, larger items can also be targets for smash and grab robberies. For instance, entire ATMs can be stolen, then taken apart later by the thieves.

Tip 1: Strengthen Physical Barriers

Install Security Glass and Window Film: Reinforced glass and security window film can make it more difficult for thieves to break in. While these materials may not be completely shatterproof, they can delay intruders long enough to trigger alarms and alert authorities.

Use Security Gates and Shutters: Security gates and shutters provide an extra layer of protection. When closed, these barriers make it significantly harder for criminals to access windows and doors.

Secure Doors and Windows: Ensure all entry points are fitted with robust locks. Double-cylinder deadbolts and reinforced door frames can add significant resistance to forced entry attempts.

Tip 2: Enhance Store Surveillance

Install Surveillance Cameras: High-quality video surveillance cameras placed strategically around your property can act as a deterrent. Ensure they are visible and cover all vulnerable areas, including entrances, exits, and parking lots, and areas likely to be targeted during a smash and grab robbery.

Implement Motion-Activated Lighting: Bright lights can scare off potential thieves and make it easier to identify suspects during an attack. A well-lit store makes it a riskier move for potential criminals.

Maintain Security Systems: Make sure your security system is regularly maintained for optimal protection. Prompt response to any triggered alarms can reduce the time thieves have to commit their crime. Don’t forget to update old systems when necessary.

Tip 3: Implement Operational Strategies

Train Employees: Educate your staff on how to respond in the event of a robbery. This includes staying calm, avoiding confrontation, and contacting authorities when safe. Training should also cover how to notice and report suspicious activities beforehand.

Develop a Security Plan: Have a clear security plan that includes regular patrols, lock-up procedures, and emergency protocols. Ensure all employees are familiar with this plan and new hires are properly trained in accordance with your policies.

Conduct Regular Security Audits: Periodically review your security measures to identify and address any weaknesses. These include evaluating the effectiveness of physical barriers, surveillance systems, and employee training programs.

Tip 4: Stay Informed and Vigilant

Engage with Local Law Enforcement: Maintain a good relationship with local police. They can provide valuable insights on recent crime trends and suggest effective security practices. Invite them to conduct training drills or awareness seminars.

Work with Neighboring Businesses or Families: Depending on your business’s location, there could be other businesses or families nearby. If this is a case, you want to build a relationship with those around you and try to foster a community of safety and surveillance to increase cooperation. Subscribing to community alerts and participating in local business associations can also help you stay updated.

Be Vigilant and Proactive: Always be aware of your surroundings and report any suspicious behavior immediately. Encourage employees and community members to do the same.

Tip 5: Partner with a Reliable Security Provider

Consider partnering with a professional security provider to enhance your business’s protection. Professional security companies, like Vector Security, can offer a range of services, including remote monitoring and advanced security technologies tailored to your specific needs.

At Vector Security, we can assess your business’s unique vulnerabilities and develop customized solutions. We can handle everything form installing advanced surveillance systems, implementing access control measures, and providing regular security repairs and upgrades.

For more information on how the team at Vector Security can better protect your business, please feel free to contact us today.