It’s distressing. Burglaries have become more frequent at jewelry stores located in strip malls throughout the U.S. and Canada in recent months.
Why? Common walls can make break-ins easier for criminals. In recent months, robbers have targeted locations connected via common walls to vacant properties. They enter the vacant retail space, then access the jewelry store through the common wall, sometimes slipping back out the way they entered without the business owner immediately noticing (for strip mall jewelers, it’s easy to forget that the only thing separating you from the business next door is a few layers of drywall and insulation).
That’s not the only way they’re getting in. Criminals have also accessed stores through the roof. It doesn’t just happen in movies! Unfortunately, rooftop burglaries are a very real threat to business owners, and often give robbers the opportunity to enter and exit without harming the structure of the building, making it difficult to notice that anything at all happened. This entry also makes it appear as though an alarm signal is false.
How to protect your strip mall-based store from an invasion? Take these 10 risk management tips to heart:
- Make sure your call list is up to date so alarm system notifications can be responded to promptly.
- Consider a redundant alarm system to complement your current alarm system.
- Arrange to meet the police at your protected property when responding to any alarm notification. Do not arrive alone!
- Seek approval from your landlord to install temporary cameras and motion detectors in any vacant adjoining spaces and secluded rear entrance and the ceiling.
- Double-check that your roof and common walls with other adjacent properties are adequately protected. If possible, move your safe from the common or shared wall. If moving the safe from the common wall isn’t an option, reinforce the wall with steel plating.
- Invest in full motion and vibration alarm protection on safes as well as welded shelves to minimize the chance of losing everything in the safe.
- Check your safes for adequate physical protection. Burglary-resistant UL-rated TL-15 and TL-30 safes have recently been targeted in these attacks and have been successfully compromised. Consider upgrading to a TRTL-30X6 safe.
- Remember to notify Jewelers Mutual Group and/or the Jewelers’ Security Alliance of any incidents at your operation (both have track criminal activity). Make sure you have adequate insurance coverage. Start by scheduling a virtual inspection. With this type of inspection, you can clearly document the inside and outside of your property at any time and on your schedule.
- It’s also critical that your alarm is working properly, and if you receive an alert from your alarm service, treat it as an actual event and alert law enforcement right away.
Photo by Mr. TinDC