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Watching Out for CrimeFebruary 13th, 2013 | by admin admin | in Security Advice | 1
Last week, Vancouver Police arrested four suspects and recovered two large vans of stolen construction equipment. The arrests followed a six-week investigation into a rash of commercial and residential break-and-enters targeting buildings under construction. The suspects had used online classified ads to sell their stolen goods.
If you’ve experienced a B and E, you can empathize with the contractors who lost the equipment. Some could not work without the expensive tools of their trade. There’s nothing so frustrating as a break-and-enter. Whether it’s your home or business, you feel a sense of outrage, of violation. How dare they? That’s my stuff. Insurance will cover some of the financial losses, but it cannot restore your sense of security. What if they come back?
Then there’s the sheer irony of some crook smashing your windows, ramming your bay doors, knocking over your antique porcelain, just to grab some cash or a laptop. I’d rather give him the money.
So, what do you do if someone breaks into your home or business? First, don’t touch anything. Keep your business closed to protect evidence. If a suspect is present, call 9-1-1. If you’re just left with the damage, Richmond RCMP recommends phoning the police non-emergency line.
While it feels like locking the proverbial barn door after the horses are gone, you also need to look at preventing future B & Es. Because, unfortunately, thieves often return to steal all the new stuff your insurance has paid for.
Crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) means keeping sight lines clear. Well-lit, open spaces, with no shrubbery to screen entry points, will make burglars think twice before entering.
Harden the target by installing:
- Security film, polycarbonate sheets or plexiglass on windows
- Solid-core exterior doors, with pins in the hinges of doors that swing out
- Good-quality deadbolt locks with at least 1.5-inch throws (the portion that extends into the door frame)
- Anti-pry plates that cover the crack between the door and the door frame
- A monitored alarm system, with a panic button (for businesses). Check regularly that your motion sensors are working and that your CCTV system records the correct date and time.
- Bollards (rigid posts) to protect storefronts, bay doors and other entry points where a vehicle could drive through
Perhaps the best protection against B & Es is a nosy neighbour. Block Watch, and similar Business Watch, programs encourage communities to watch out for crime, with police advice and support. Vancouver residents can sign up for police crime alerts for individual neighbourhoods. Just this week, the VPD crime alerts notified residents about:
- The construction equipment theft ring arrests mentioned earlier.
- Metal thieves stealing storm drain covers, creating a hazard for pedestrians.
- Con artists selling “lucky jade bracelets” or “mystical water” to Chinese seniors
Many Lower Mainland police forces also map out local crime reports. By keeping informed, you can take steps to protect your property. Chances are, if someone is committing B & Es down the street, you’ll be next.
City of Richmond Business Watch brochure
The Vancouver Police Department's Crime Prevention and Safety for Businesses
Note: This blog discusses general safety and security topics. It is not intended to provide comprehensive advice or guidance. In all matters of personal safety and security, we encourage readers to research topics in depth and consult a security professional about specific concerns.