During this time of uncertainty when the terms “essential” and “non-essential” are being thrown around in defining the parameters of a business staying open, Eyewitness would like to share some of the strategies we believe are even more important if your dealership is closed for business. How can you best protect your property when you can’t be there? The ideas below are some of what our network of partners have shared in the past.
Starting from the outside in, you can preemptively block off your lot and minimize an intruder’s ability to enter.
• Park “blocker cars” at entrances, exits and at ends of rows to act as physical barriers.
• Take proactive parking a step further by parking trucks back-to-back or up against walls to reduce the risk of tailgate theft. In fact, parking cars closer together in general makes it more difficult for thieves to steal wheels. Protect higher dollar merchandise by parking more expensive inventory either inside your showroom or blocked in by other vehicles.
• Move all cars closer to the center of your property, closer to buildings and into well-lit areas. If you can, unhook batteries, it provides an extra barrier to theft. If a car thief can’t get a vehicle started quickly, they’ll move on to an easier target.
• Protect your cars with motion detecting beacons and alerts that don’t require or drain batteries for added protection.
Your building itself can be a prime target and therefore should be secured.
• Double check that every door (including service bay roll up doors) are locked and secured, and your access and intrusion alarms are set and activated. (Remember, if you are an Eyewitness customer but are using a separate access and intrusion service, we still can be the first call during monitoring hours for no additional charge.) Ensure cash, valuables and sensitive items or information are locked up and secured in safes.
• Before you leave, ensure your exterior lighting at the front and back of your property is working and scheduled to be on all night.
• If you are using video monitoring and need to update monitoring hours, be sure to connect with your monitoring team before you leave.
• And, if you are working with remote monitoring, be sure to remove balloons and streamers, as these trip motion alarms and lead to a mountain of false triggers, which can slow down response time to active alarms.
One of the most common tactics for theft is the “smash and grab” where thieves either smash through the glass dealership doors and grab batches of keys or steal them during operating hours if all or part of your dealership is open.
• Be sure keys are locked up and secure in a location or separate room that is hard to breach. Keep in mind this extends past the showroom, too, to include customer cars in for service.
• As the operational hours, personnel and schedule change, the importance of sound key management increases. Adhering to the use and protocols of a key management system or making sure one person is still responsible for checking in all keys at night can reduce the risk of theft.
While current events may continue to provide a degree of uncertainty and change to your operations, we pledge to be a constant and will work to support you, our customers and partners. How can we help you protect your livelihood? Call us at (800) 518-3911.