According to the Highway Loss Data Institute, the average cost of a vandalism claim is more than $1500 per vehicle which translates to over $1M a day for reported vehicle vandalism claims. Of course, not all of this takes place on a dealer’s lot but is that a cost worth risking?
There is no question that loitering groups often like to find inactive spaces to congregate at night or that trespassers are often illegally on properties after hours. A business parking lot is a privately owned piece of property, so it is reasonable to expect that folks stay away when your business is not open.
It doesn’t look good to potential customers when a collective of vagrants is occupying space on your property. Beyond trespassing, they may not be engaging in public nuisance activities such as selling illegal drugs or soliciting prostitution. The worst outcome could simply be that they left trash behind. But is your reputation worth risking?
There is no question that automotive dealers have high value inventory and that thieves are interested in what they have to offer. That doesn’t mean they go after the most expensive vehicles though. In fact, car thieves most often steal mid-range vehicles because they are easier to unload on the black market.
The most popular stolen vehicles include:
- Honda Civic
- Honda Accord
- Ford Pickup
- Chevrolet Pickup
- Toyota Camry
- Nissan Altima
Beyond what they steal, what is most accessible matters. Only so many cars will fit on the showroom floor so the bulk of vehicles are stored outside. These are easier targets for criminals.
Your Lot is More at Risk than Your Showroom
Criminals will avoid setting off commercial alarm systems if they can still get what they want without the hassle of breaking and entering. Most of them prefer easy crime. Most will try to avoid security cameras as well.
But sophisticated criminals will test your security cameras to see if they are simply recording footage or if there is video surveillance monitoring at work. Most lots are darker, less protected, and therefore are more at risk of criminal behavior than your building.
Tips to Protect Your Dealership
Here are a few things to remember about how criminals think about car dealerships and what you can do about them:
Vandals can do their dirty work outside without setting off an alarm. A proper video surveillance monitoring solution will track their every move so that you can stop them before they are able to damage your property. We set up keyword searches to quickly identify things out of the ordinary on your property.
Intruders know that loitering is easier in corners of parking lots where it is not always well lit. Be sure to have IP cameras in place which can enable virtual guards to trigger audio and visual deterrents. Scare them off before your property becomes the place to congregate.
Stealing a vehicle is harder when there are walls surrounding it so the first place that thieves will likely look is on your lot. Don’t forget to protect this space with bright lighting, perimeter security, and managed surveillance solutions that include remote video monitoring. Even if you already have a security camera system in place, adding Pro-Vigil’s monitoring service will help to detect and deter thieves.
There is no question about what the criminals want. If you still have questions about how to protect your dealership, check out this list of questions to ask before hiring a security firm. Or, contact us directly for help!