Each year, it is estimated that nearly 4 million robberies occur within the United States of America. As a business, it is important to ensure that you are protected from theft, but how do you know what businesses are most at risk for theft? This article will describe which businesses are most prone to theft, and explain why they are more at risk than other businesses.
Which Businesses Are Most At Risk?
According to the Crime Prevention Serice for Business at the School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University, the five types of businesses that are most likely to be robbed are:
- Gas Stations
- Convenience Stores
- Liquor Stores
- Jewelry Stores
While crime can and does strike just about every type of brick-and-mortar business, these are the ones that are disproportionately affected by theft, property destruction, and general criminal mischief.
Supermarkets are a prime target for theft for a few reasons. The first reason is that they are quite large, and therefore difficult to guard by traditional methods (although remote guarding can close this loophole). If a thief is quick, they can easily take items from different shelves without anyone noticing. Supermarkets are also a common place for theft because they use cash in their registers. In fact, any store or business that has a high volume of cash moving in and out each day is at an increased risk of being robbed. While theft is a major issue for supermarkets, they typically don’t worry quite as much about being broken into or vandalized — because many of them are open quite late (and some of them are open 24 hours a day).
Gas stations are a classically common target for thieves, partially due to their lack of employees. Many times, within a gas station there is only one or two employees working. This causes potential thieves to have more confidence that they will be able to get away without being noticed or facing any serious consequences. Gas stations also carry cash, as well as liquor and cigarettes, which are some of the most frequently stolen items. These items can quickly be resold or used by thieves without it being traced back to them. As such, it is in the best interest of gas station owners to make sure their premises are properly surveilled with HD monitoring — and ideally, that there is remote guarding in place.
Convenience stores are at an increased risk of being robbed compared to other businesses for many of the same reasons that gas stations are. They have a small number of employees, and they often carry cash, cigarettes, and alcohol. Many convenience stores are located on edges of cities, or even slightly outside of cities which also causes them to be an increased risk of theft and break-ins. According to the center for problem-orientated policing, 6% of all thefts occur within convenience stores. This number has been decreasing within the last 10 years, but it is still a significant amount. Convenience store owners can particularly benefit from the services that remote guarding can provide, including access control and facial/license plate recognition.
Liquor stores are at a risk of theft for a number of reasons. The first reason is that liquor can’t be bought by certain types of people. For example, people who are underage are quite likely to try to steal liquor because it is expensive and risky to try to buy a fake I.D. Additionally, many desperate individuals simply don’t have money for alcohol, so they will attempt to just walk into a store and steal it. Liquor stores also are similar to convenience stores and gas stations in the fact that they don’t have very many employees, and often use cash registers. This makes them more prone to theft as well.
Jewelry stores contain many types of precious stones and metals that can be resold fairly easily on a thriving black market. For this reason, jewelry stores have a high chance of being broken into when the store is closed. According to jewelerssecurity.org, the number of crimes committed at U.S. jewelry firms increased from the year 2015 to 2016 by 5%. In 2016, there were over 1200 crimes that occurred with jewelry stores. These crimes resulted in over 70 million dollars worth of combined losses. Jewelry stores aren’t likely to be robbed of cash, but the thieves most commonly try to take some sort of product. Jewelry store owners should be extra vigilant about putting a virtual guarding security plan in place.