There have been many reports detailing spikes in auto thefts throughout Austin, Texas. Thefts at auto dealerships are nothing new to any of us; thieves have been heading right to that source for years, and why not? Often, car lots are unmanned with no security and they offer a wealth of parts, electronics, and items car thieves want. The fact that most parts and vehicles are in great condition at car lots makes them all even more enticing and tasty to any car thief.
Over the last two decades there have been considerable efforts made by local law enforcement agencies to control the rate of car thefts by creating awareness and increasing patrols. You may see “crime awareness signs” and warnings reminding you to lock your doors posted in many locations, along with threats of possible “bait cars” even being parked in the parking lot, all in an effort to scare away thieves… but, the fact is that these efforts have only had limited effect, as car theft is still considerably high, and is unstoppable.
The fact that it is unstoppable by any efforts from law enforcement leaves you with only one card to play, that is, to ensure that although car thefts will continue to happen, they just won’t happen on your car lot.
Interestingly, out of all the different forms of car thefts, the rate of vehicles stolen from parking lots is the highest. It seems as if parking lots are the easiest targets for car thieves. Knowing there is a good chance that vehicles can be easily stolen, the question is: what are auto dealerships doing to prevent car lot thefts? Some auto dealerships may take the stance that the cars on their lots actually belong to the banks and/or are insured. This may be true, however it will get to the point where the banks no longer want to fund or back those vehicles, and/or insurance companies may start raising rates and canceling policies if the dealers do nothing about it.
In recent news:
One hundred and forty 20-inch wheels and tires were stolen from a Dallas car lot. Police say 15 vehicles were blocked up with cemented blocks; a total of 60 wheels and tires were taken. Police added, a citizen driving by noticed some missing wheels and reported it that morning – Dallas news.
Sadly that story is very common and not only are tires being taken from the vehicles but catalytic converters, mufflers, taillights, radios, airbags, etc. are being targeted as well. Even used cars are being stolen as thieves are filling orders from customers that have older cars and need replacement parts – so no vehicle is safe whether it’s a new car lot or a used car lot.
Car lot thefts come in waves?
The rate of car burglaries doesn’t remain the same throughout the year, it rises and falls. Law enforcement experts believe these “waves” in thefts indicate there are well-organized groups behind the crimes. These groups target and operate in a specific area for a certain time frame and before the police can get any leads on them, they move on to the next area.
Q: Why do these groups target parking lots in particular?
A: The answer is, the majority of parking lots are unprotected and don’t have any or very little security, e.g. surveillance cameras and security guards. A criminal and/or spotter can watch your lot one night and tell whether you have security guards, if you have cameras, where the cameras are, and where the easiest points of entry and exit are located.
Cameras no longer scare criminals away – simply wearing a mask and gloves, to include removing the license plates off the suspect’s vehicle, renders your expensive camera system useless. You will arrive back to your car lot in the morning to see that several vehicles have been stolen or that parts were taken from them; however, your camera system will have great footage of the masked men committing the crime and driving away free as a bird… so cameras are not always the best answer.
A camera system isn’t bad it just can’t be a stand-alone item; it can easily be defeated by a criminal simply wearing a mask – also, a camera cannot call the police or handcuff a suspect. Your best bet in protecting your car lot is to have a security officer posted on your property for the hours that you are not there.
Nothing beats having a uniformed officer making foot patrols and approaching suspicious individuals, to include investigating unusual activities. While some auto dealership owners will elect to have random vehicle patrol services which includes a security office patrolling your property every other hour; this is not the right tool.
A vehicle patrol service will not discourage a determined criminal who is watching the time intervals of the vehicle patrol service and waiting for the guard to exit your property, leaving the criminal ample enough time to take exactly what he’s had his eyes on. Again, a posted uniformed officer on your property will provide the best desired effects to eliminate theft.
The chances of a car lot being burglarized is more likely than not; so why risk losing thousands of dollars? Taking proper security measures will intimidate criminals and help to eliminate the chances of your property being stolen. Asecurity guard service can quickly reduce spikes in auto thefts occurring throughout Austin.
Looking for a way to prevent Copper theft at your construction site? Construction equipment theft is on the rise and thieves are making out pretty good. Nearly $1 billion dollars is stolen from construction sites each year in the United States.
As the city of Austin and surrounding areas continue to grow and expand in population, so will the number of construction sites in the area. Along with the increase in construction sites comes the increase in thefts.
Did you know: “Slightly less than 10 percent of stolen machinery is returned to its owner?” This is a statistic that most police agencies don’t readily announce for obvious reasons.
Thinking of locking your tools up in a storage unit and securing your rent-a-fence with a padlock… Good Luck! Thieves come prepared; they have bolt and wire-cutters and all essential tools to take what they came for… your property! After-all, this is their business… taking what’s yours.
How do “You” reduce theft on your property?
You can post “
No Trespassing” signs throughout your construction site; you can purchase surveillance cameras to record your equipment being stolen – that’s if the camera is positioned correctly and has good resolution, otherwise you’ll be recording a blur.
You can also fence off your property and incorporate barbed wire, but criminals aren’t climbing… it’s 2015; they cut through the fence – get your items quickly and leave. And if you try to count on your local police department to patrol your construction site; once again, Good Luck! An emergency call (homicide, domestic violence, traffic pursuit) will take precedence over your possible theft issue.
Are your methods working?
You can: Be sure your site is well-lit and add a few surveillance cameras and alarm systems; these can at least ward off the criminals for a little while. But keep in mind, once they have done research, aka, cased-out your construction site; they are going to strike, even with the prior-mentioned devices on your property.
FYI: Construction equipment thefts can delay projects by weeks and cost thousands of dollars in lost revenue when key equipment, tools, and supplies have been taken from a job site; in extreme cases, contracts can be lost, or contractors penalized under completion date penalty clauses.
To prevent handing over money to thieves and mitigate theft at your construction site, a posted security guard service is highly recommended. A security guard will be at your site to quickly react to a crime in progress; better than that, the guard’s presence will prevent the crime from even taking place.
Trying to save can actually cost you –
While some construction site managers/owners elect to save money and have an employee sleep on the property inside a mobile home… that seldom ever works, as the employee is asleep while the theft occurs.
Other construction site managers/owners elect to utilize a “mobile camera trailer” that is placed in the center of the job site and has cameras and motion sensors to detect intruders after they have already entered the property; the problem with this method is it only scares away little kids and the homeless. A determined criminal knows that there are major blind spots; these mobile trailers do not cover all areas of your property and they can be defeated.
A uniformed, posted security guard will be able to detect who and where the culprit is, because most often, theft at construction sites are committed by the workers – sad, but true. If you’re weighing the cost of a guard service versus a “potential” theft, you shouldn’t.
It will cost so much more not seizing preventive steps. A posted security guard can observe and detect suspicious behavior before a suspect even enters the property well before any camera or alarm system would detect an intrusion.
A posted officer can also make an arrest, whereas a camera can only record what is in its view and an alarm system can only activate when triggered; meanwhile, the criminal steals equipment and walks away free.
It takes anywhere from 5 minutes and upward for the police to arrive on scene after being contacted (many factors determine their response time). A criminal can take lots of things in 5+ minutes but with a posted security guard on the property, statically, the criminal will move on to the next site that doesn’t have security.
In addition to being concerned with theft issues, another great reason to have a posted security officer on the property is to limit your exposure to liability from kids or anyone else entering your hazardous construction zone.
Regardless if you have fencing or not, you still may be held responsible for any injuries or deaths that occur on your construction site even if that person has no lawful business on your property – a posted security guard would eliminate your exposure.
“For heavy equipment such as backhoes, ditch witches and other movable items, make sure the keys are not left in the vehicles when they are unattended. Do not leave the keys in the vehicle and lock the doors thinking no one will break into the vehicle.
Have your equipment marked and make sure you have the serial/VIN numbers copied and in a safe location. Lower all of the blades and buckets to make it harder to move the vehicle when it is not in use.
Lastly, use wheel locks or immobilizers to make it harder to move the trailer or equipment.” Courtesy of City of Minnetrista
Why put yourself through the agony of theft when all you have to do is be proactive? A security guard service can help prevent copper theft on your property and eliminate your loss of thousands of dollars!
Being knowledgeable about copper theft can save your business thousands of dollars. Whether you have an apartment complex, construction site, office building, vacant home, etc., you are on a Targeted List. Why? To thieves, copper is the new Gold Rush and has been for the last few years. The current price for copper has been increasing which means thieves get a higher payday when they recycle (cash-in) your stolen copper.
Copper has jumped from $1.50 a pound in 2008 to $4.50-$5.00 a pound (present day), so it racks up quickly when these guys turn a couple hundred pounds a day.
“People steal copper wire and pipe and sell it by the pound,” according to Catawba County Sheriff Coy Reid; some get creative and mastermind a complete heist. There have been reports where criminals have taken more than 300 feet of copper pipe used for air conditioning and more than 2,000 feet of cable used for a communications company – the group of thieves cut down the cable from telephone poles and hauled it away, causing tens of thousands of dollars in damage.
The Snowball effect…
“It’s not just the cost or loss of the copper, thieves also leave water gushing out of pipes, walls and floors torn and ripped apart to gain access which causes thousands of dollars in damages just getting to the copper, this is a major devastation to any home builder or property owner”- Security Expert Glenn Jones added.
“Once thieves strip copper pipes and other metals from a vacant home, conventional financing is harder to obtain and the sale price could plummet,” said Eric Berman, spokesman for the Massachusetts Association of Realtors.
Who, what, when, where…whyyyyy???
This type of theft is occurring both day and night; thieves work alone or in groups – many look homeless, dress in very casual clothing, or try to blend in and look like construction workers. Very few tools are needed to do this and because of copper’s light weight, a bag full of it can be bent and carried off by one person. Often they will return to the same area, especially vacant apartment buildings, construction sites and new home developments, as they know very few people are there and no one is watching; they use the structure itself to hide inside while committing their crime.
What can you do?
Lights and fences won’t deter these perpetrators at all, as they are after the gold that is inside your property and they will stop at nothing to get it; also, purchasing surveillance cameras won’t be much help, you’ll be lucky if you capture a glimpse of the person’s profile. Remember cameras don’t stop crime they just record it. This type of crime can only be stopped with a posted officer on the property.
For the price you’ll pay for having just one apartment or home victimized, you could have a uniformed and posted guard on your property for a month. Yes, you may have insurance; however, the new repairs will delay your sale or lease of the home or property which costs you even more money. Often, insurance rates will increase and they will not allow too many claims before they demand security, increase your rates, or cancel your policy – something to consider.
Remove yourself from the targeted list and eliminate the frustration of dealing with your insurance company and increased rates. To prevent copper theft on your property, give SRS Services a call now!
Do security guards actually prevent crime at churches? This a question that has been asked by many. A short answer to this question: crime is less likely to happen where criminals feel there is law enforcement or security on the premises – you can do your research here and check stats; most of the churches attacked did not have a security team or police officers on the property.
Crime at churches often occur when there is absolutely no protection on site. The last thing people want to believe is that someone would attack church goers but the sad reality is, crime is everywhere and occurs any time, at any location – and yes, even on church grounds.
According to Noelle Swan, in the past 15 years, more than 781 deadly attacks have occurred in the United States in places of worship. Vehicles are being burglarized in church parking lots; church members are being targeted and robbed, and worshippers are being murdered during services.
Man with a Shotgun Kicks in Church Door (see video):
Some churches have decided to get their congregation involved and establish a safety ministry to act as lookouts for suspicious individuals entering the property. They’ve also asked any off-duty police officers who are members to help out and volunteer to protect the members and visitors. The ministry has meetings to discuss safety precautions in the event they are attacked and have to react without law enforcement on site.
***Conduct a security risk analysis prior to purchasing security equipment. Often equipment is purchased and installed only to discover that it does not meet expected needs or solve the problems since needs and problems were never identified and properly assessed in the first place.
The above may be a tall order for some churches; to add, the average person does not have the level of training needed to guard a facility and people. It’s a great strategy to impose safety precautions but churches should go a step further and either get their safety ministry professionally trained to handle crime on their church grounds or outright hire security officers and take the stress off the congregation as a whole.
Being on the “look-out” for criminals is one thing, but what happens when three or more criminals are attacking a church at one time? Most church goers are not trained for that type of occurrence and are not armed to handle active shooters on the property.
Churches should involve their members and educate them about safety but they should also include a security training program that keeps them on top of their game in the event that a crime does break out on church grounds.
No one wants to think of this worst case scenario but again, it happens and more often than you think. Question –Security guards: Do they prevent crime at churches? Answer – Absolutely! They not only prevent crime at churches, they take the stress off the church members having to worry about their safety or lack thereof.
To consult with a security expert regarding the matter, click here.
Ever decided to leave your vehicle running while unattended to get a 10 minute head start while you finish off your morning breakfast or tidy up a bit before rushing off to work? Sure you have. How about quickly going into a convenient store for a hot cup of coffee or dropping off mail at the post office while leaving your vehicle running? Yep, you’ve done that also.
As tempting as it may be to let your car warm up while you’re inside finishing off that last piece of toast or dashing inside your neighborhood Quickie Picky for that fresh cup of mo, you should never leave your vehicle running while unattended.
One of the Leading Causes of Car Theft in Texas Seen in this Video
Let’s face it, who really wants to sit in a car while it warms up on a freezing cold day, or better yet, a scorching hot Texas summer day? In a world where everything moves so quickly, a 5-10 minute vehicle warm-up can feel like an eternity.
For a less than 20 second errand, why on earth is it necessary to turn the engine off?
Initially it is bothersome, and doesn’t seem pragmatic until you think of all the possible outcomes and realize you can avoid placing yourself in harm’s way.
“Police say a man who was getting ready to go deer hunting left his truck running while he went inside his house; when he came back outside a man was sitting in his truck and attacked him. The suspect kicked the man in the head and face and demanded his wallet, then threatened to kill the man with the rifle he found in the truck.” -KXAN News
And this is exactly what CAN happen when you least expect it!
That man had no idea that a couple of minutes inside to gather a few more items could lead to his life being on the line. If he had the opportunity to do it over again, the car engine would have been either off with all windows up and doors locked or he would have be inside the vehicle with the engine on, windows up and doors locked. It’s unfortunate but this is the way of the world.
A man reportedly left his vehicle running in the driveway of his house; he returned to find it stolen. Fairfield Police cautioned residents not to leave their vehicles running unattended regardless of the weather and time of day. -Ian Thompson
Answer – It takes a lot less time to shut your engine off than to go through the agony of your vehicle being stolen.
Did You Know?
“The key to being compensated for a car theft is to have comprehensive car insurance. If you opted out of automobile comprehensive and collision insurance, theft is excluded from your car insurance coverage.
Some carriers do not look favorably on practically handing your car over to thieves by leaving it running unattended in your driveway with the keys in the ignition and doors unlocked. As a result, they might have language in the coverage to exclude the policyholder from claiming a loss if this should happen. Read your policy carefully.
Note any language about the policyholder being liable if he or she “increases the risk of theft” (like leaving your car running unattended). You may also want to check with your local municipality about idling ordinances; if there is one on the books, you may have trouble getting your insurance company to settle.” Bankrate
TEXAS HAS RULED…
If convicted, you can be fined $200.
Remaining in your vehicle when it is running or shutting it off and taking your keys with you can save a call to your local police department, or more importantly, save your life. Take the necessary precautions rather than being annoyed with the minuscule amount of time it takes to be safe… Never leave your vehicle running unattended!
Why hire a security guard service? It’s essential if you want to provide your business with professionals who have the knowledge and skills to protect your assets and deter crime. Whether it be walking the aisles of your store to reduce theft or providing an improved level of security in your parking lot, the presence of a security officer can help eliminate crime on your property.
The goal is to reduce crime in areas that would otherwise be a target.
Take for example the parking lot of a busy mall; it is notorious for robberies, assaults, and even vandalism; however, with more malls utilizing security guard services, these professionals have been able to deter crimes and ensure that the shopping experience people have is safer.
Even having a security professional in an office building to screen visitors that enter the structure and make certain only authorized persons are allowed on the property provides a sense of security for guests and staff; to add, the security professional can also escort guests/staff to their vehicles and provide high visibility that can reduce the risk of crime occurring on or near the location.
The city of Austin hosts everything from sporting events to concerts and other public and private functions where large crowds gather. Having a reliable and professional security service will help give attendees a peace of mind.
If a brawl were to ensue, the security officers would step in and defuse the situation before it escalated, or just the guards’ presence alone may prevent the altercation from even taking place – prevention is far less expensive than the cost of repairs.
Security and HOAs
Many residential communities would like to keep their neighborhoods safe but neighborhood watch groups can only do some much between the hours of 1am – 6am, the neighborhood is not on watch but the burglar is. A security officer patrolling the area can stop a criminal from car theft and entering homes.
Preventive Measures at Apartment Complexes
Curfew issues, break-ins, and unwanted visitors… every Apartment Manager’s worst nightmare. Providing a posted guard will definitely take away the manager’s stress and help residents feel secure knowing they can safely enter their apartment and not worry about their car or place of residence being broken into.
If you are considering hiring a guard company, check into that guard company.
Property Crime Rate Comparison:
National Median – 29.1
Texas – 34.72
Austin – 53.05
Chances of becoming a victim in Austin – 1 in 19
The following are also things to look for:
The last thing you need is a guard that doesn’t possess any licenses, not properly uniformed, isn’t approachable and has an attitude problem.
Imagine this: you have an upset client, resident, or customer that needs the guard’s assistance because your staff isn’t around to help the client with his issue; the guard isn’t personable, doesn’t really care to assist your customer, has very little training, and makes matters worse.
Avoid the aforementioned…
Remember the security guard represents your business and you; not to mention, is generally the first person people see when they arrive on your property. So be sure to select a great company with professional and trustworthy security officers to provide service on your property.
Having security guards at cinemas… one would think this is a no-brainer. Whenever hundreds of people are joined at one location, there should definitely be security staff on board. Huge crowds equate to different personalities, backgrounds, ages, and the list goes on; the smallest incident such as an accidental nudge can snowball into something completely out of control.
Who will step in quickly to defuse the problem; the theater staff? These individuals are not trained in crowd control or any other security-related issue.
Even though the state police are quite efficient across the country, it still takes them some time to respond to a location; hence, if there are professionals who are capable of neutralizing any such vulnerability at theaters, movie lovers would feel a lot safer if they were employed.
Billions of dollars each year are generated because of movie goers; the very least that can be done is to provide extra security at movie theaters.
July 20, 2012, a date that will never be forgotten: one gunman killed 12 and injured 48 people at Century 16 Theater in Aurora, Colorado.
This, and other events in the past, gives birth to questions like: is cinema security necessary? Security analysts and other experts, including attorney Marc Bern, believe that the above-mentioned incident could have been avoided had Cinemark appointed security guards at the theater.
In the course of these events, there has now begun an ongoing debate between those individuals who believe that the best way to counter any such events in the future is to allow the citizenry to carry concealed firearms in public areas and those who oppose this notion and advocate that the best solution is to increase manpower dedicated to the security in these locations.
Some theater owners agree with the latter sub-demographic and have decided that the best way of ensuring security is to appoint security guards at their locations and increase the amount of physical security, i.e. manpower.
At two theaters in New Orleans, security personnel now “pat down” each and every individual for weapons.
Think that’s extreme?
If it prevents headline news from occurring like that of July 20, 2012, then it is well worth it.
The fact is that movie theater security guards can be beneficial in more ways than one. Aside from preventing gunman attacks and incorporating a sense of security to the customers, security guards can also help solve the problem of movie-hopping – when an individual buys just one ticket and ends up watching two or three. Security personnel can also ensure protection against theft or robberies at theaters.
Today, security is one of the biggest issues that the entertainment, especially the film industry is facing. No one wants to endanger their lives for the cost of watching a movie at a theater. Some theater owners have realized the intensity of the situation and are acting to counter any such events in the future.
Even if increasing security means higher costs and reduced inefficiencies for theater management, the top most priority should be to ensure customer security so that the customers keep coming back.
To ensure movie goers are able to enjoy a movie without wondering if their safety is on the line, appointing security guards and increasing the security level at movie theaters is a must! Call on SRS Services today to fulfill your security needs.
Robbery is a crime that everyone is familiar with. You hear about it on the radio, see coverage on your local news stations, and read headlines on the internet and newsstands. But how prepared are you in the event someone walks into your establishment, pulls out a gun, and says “Don’t move?” What do you do? What procedures do you have in place? Is your staff trained to react in this instance?
Robbery occurs when thieves believe there is enough profit in the endeavor to outweigh any risks. You are less likely to experience a theft if the robber(s) perceives limited potential profit and a high risk of being caught. Just because your business dose not keep cash on hand does not mean the criminals are aware of this and may see you as an easy target.
Whether it is a bank robbery, convenient store robbery, robbery at a church, etc., the following tips can provide a wealth of help in the event a robbery occurs at your business.
Discouraging a Robbery
Be Cautious of your Surroundings
Opening and Closing Procedures
The focus needs to be on surviving the crime. Don’t start a fight or aggravate the perpetrator; it’s not worth risking your well-being for any amount of money.
Actions to Take During a Robbery
Be sure to capture:
Steps to take after the theft occurs:
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and regional law enforcement announce the implementation of a new regional crime reduction venture – see more here
Your best solution for robbery prevention is to have posted security guards at your location. Your security officers will be able to note suspicious individuals casing your property as well as look for those who stand out in the crowd as potential threats.
It is up to you to take the proper steps in putting your safety and the safety of your employees as a priority. Reduce the risk of your business becoming a target by paying close attention to each robbery prevention tip… go a step further and contact a reliable security guard service today.
It is important to have a security guard service at college campuses or universities. Statistically, crimes are less likely to occur if security officers are present. Criminals tend to seek out locations that don’t have security and areas that leave many vulnerable, e.g. dark parking lots, hallways, walkways/passages, wooded areas, parks, etc. Most criminals aren’t willing to risk being identified and consequently arrested, so they opt for the easier route – places with no safety precautions. Having uniformed officers is significant to the safety of public and private educational institutions.
As you’ve seen in recent news, school shootings are becoming more and more prevalent. Parents are no longer viewing schools as safe havens; their worries intensify for fear of some irrational individual(s) with nothing to lose doing the unthinkable. Having posted security guards throughout the premises can vastly diminish criminal acts from occurring; again, a perpetrator is far less likely to commit a crime if he knows security is on the property.
Live crime map of criminal acts being committed near a local college campus – see more here!
“A student hid quietly in a small room with dozens of classmates after gunshots erupted in a courtyard on his college campus. He told the media, I didn’t think something like this could happen; you don’t think about it happening to you.
A volley of gunshots at Lone Star College prompted a lockdown and eventual evacuation of the campus in north Houston. In the end, three people were hospitalized, including a maintenance worker caught in the crossfire and two others who authorities believe were involved in the gunfire.
At least 10 patrol cars clustered on the campus’ west side as emergency personnel tended to the wounded and loaded them on stretchers. Students led by officers ran from the buildings where they had been hiding as authorities evacuated the campus.” Juan A. Lozano and Michael Graczyk
Having posted security officers on location would have made this man think twice about pulling his gun out.
Security guards are equipped with the necessary skills and tools to mitigate the possibility of theft, vandalism, and injury to staff, visitors, and students. A security professional has adequate training to effectively deescalate volatile situations. Rather than being bogged down with the possibility of crime being committed on the property, the faculty and students can focus on education.
The Writings on the Wall
Not only will security officers guard the staff and student-body, they will also ensure the building is protected. Graffiti and other types of vandalism are common acts of violence against schools. Security guards are able to stand watch and prevent this from taking place; thus, allowing the students and staff members to feel safe, and keep the building and property professional looking and appealing.
Colleges today need to protect their students and employees, and hiring a security guard service is a step in the right direction for any university or college campus. Speak to a security consultant today and get the high-level protection your institution deserves.