If you have been watching the local evening news over the past decade, you are likely aware that smash and grab burglaries have become increasingly frequent in Washington State. Reports of stolen vehicles rammed through the front entry doors of retail drug stores and other businesses aren’t new. Given the rate of copycat crimes, these events will only become more common place, but they are preventable.
The old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” is particularly relevant when preventing vehicles from being driven into commercial structures. A few thousand dollars of preparation can save the cost of renovations, which could easily exceed tens of thousands of dollars per location. One retail chain has experienced multiple incidents of vehicle-related smash and grab burglaries, averaging $45,000 in repairs per location. Beyond physical property, and more importantly, prevention can go a long way in helping to ensure the safety of your employees and customers.
Installing barriers to stop moving vehicles from breaching a business’ entryway doesn’t have to be an aesthetically displeasing venture. Nor does it necessarily need to be an exorbitantly expensive investment. Numerous options are available, including:
- Landscaping boulders
- Crash-rated removable, retractable, or permanent protection bollards
- Gabion wire baskets filled with stones
- Security planters
For more ideas on protecting your retail storefront, see chapter 4 of FEMA’s Site and Urban Design for Security manual.