It’s Friday at 5 p.m. With keys in hand, you start to check your mental list to ensure your site is protected. Entrances secured? Doors locked? Alarm system activated? Is your property safe?
Last year almost half of cargo thefts reported to CargoNet took place between Friday and Sunday.
Why do weekends pose a threat for property crime?
- Sites are less densely populated
- Delayed notification to law enforcement
- Thieves have more time to transfer stolen merchandise
Author and renowned cargo security specialist J.J. Coughlin provides insight in his book, "Cargo Crime: Security and Theft Prevention". “Thieves like to operate when fewer people are around and when buildings are left to the protection of alarms and other systems that can be beaten or manipulated.” Also, weekend crime takes longer to be discovered. This allows the thieves to “get out of Dodge” well before law enforcement is ever notified.
These are some things you can look out for during the week:
- Beware of suspicious false alarms. Thieves will often trigger your alarm to test the response time of law enforcement or company personnel. In some cases thieves will continue to “trip” the alarm in hopes you think it is broken and either cut it off or begin to ignore the signal.
- Notice chalk or pencil marks around doorways? Employees or visitors may mark exterior “break points” or “laser beams” with chalk to assist thieves. Be aware of all visitors on site at all times. Secure delivery points and have a process for drivers to follow.
- Receiving phone calls with no answer on the other end? Some thieves will park nearby and call the location phone to see if there is a guard on duty. They may also use the ringing phone to alert an accomplice who is already on site.
How do you ensure your site stays protected over the weekend? Simple steps can help to reduce your chance of becoming a target for theft:
- Remove stacked pallets, picnic tables and other equipment that would allow thieves to quickly scale the fence or building. These could also be used as a tool to quickly move your assets out of the property.
- Remove keys inside of heavy equipment and company vehicles. Place them in a locked box and store inside of the building. Consider parking vehicles in such a way they cannot be easily broken into (such as parking trucks back-to-back so the doors cannot be opened).
- Ensure there is adequate lighting on your entire site over the weekend.
- Keep the high-dollar items closest to the facility or toward the center of your lot. Keep the most valuable items out of eye-shot.
Taking these measures will help to minimize the losses that may occur but you must look to a multilayered security solution to properly deter criminals completely. As stated by Scott Cornell of Travelers, “Theft prevention is best applied in a layered approach involving education, awareness and process." Continue to stay up to date on the latest trends by following our blog.
Curious what cargo security measures experts recommend? Get a free copy of J.J. Coughlin's book "Cargo Crime" — a must-read guide for transportation and logistics security professionals.