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Retailers are Vulnerable to Smash and Grab Thefts

Retailers are Vulnerable to Smash and Grab Thefts

In October, there were reported a string of smash and grab robberies in the Toronto-Mississauga area.  The suspect was caught on video allegedly breaking into a series of businesses.  He was able to break the glass doors, enter the premise, grab the cash register, and then leave before the police could arrive.  

Windows leave your retail business vulnerable to smash and grab thefts

Windows are an essential part of most brick & mortar retail business as owners want to showcase their product to passersby.  Unfortunately, windows leave your retail business vulnerable.  A smash and grab robbery not only leaves retailers with a loss of merchandise; but, it can disrupt business as usual, and leave staff feeling insecure about their work environment.    

This smash and grab incident is not an isolated case, and can happen right here in our local Hamilton and Niagara communities.  Crimestoppers presents some terrifying Canadian retail theft statistics.

  • 87.5% of Independently owned retail stores in Canada report being victim of retail crime, and this isn’t just the big retailers.
  • 2 out of every 5 crimes involve some form of violence.

It is more vital than ever before that retail business owners employ effective security policies and checklists to make their business more secure.  

A priority should be to conduct an assessment of the physical retail space; this means that retailers need to know where the building is vulnerable, and implement protection measures.

If the retail location is a lease, ask the building owner or the property manager to find out what protection measures are put in place; this should include both the immediate space and any common spaces such as courtyards and parking lots.  If the building is owned, the same questions apply. 

Security Assessment Checklist

  • Are there video surveillance cameras?  Where are the locations of the cameras?  
  • Is there a light outside your store entrance?  Is the light on all night?  
  • Is there a monitored alarm system in place?  What devices are attached to the security system i.e. door contacts, glass breakage detectors, motion detectors, etc.
  • Do the door locks meet the highest grade commercial standards?
  • How are the windows protected? 

Gates (or bars), and security window film are two popular solutions to protect glass doors and windows.  

Safety and security window film installed on a window is an invisible, but strong, layer of defense.  It helps prevent smash and grab thefts and improves safety concerns caused by broken glass.  Even if there are gates on the window, glass can be broken during an attempted break-in. 

Was this window film professionally installed? Professionally installed safety and security window film will have proper anchoring in place to help prevent the glass from being pushed out of the window frame.

In addition to securing the building, make sure you have security policies and procedures in place for your staff.  It should include recommendations to be aware of possible threats, as safety procedures in place to protect the well-being of staff; when opening, during work, and closing the store.


Disclaimer - Evolution Window Films is not a security consulting organization.  The recommendations and questions above are based on information learned through research while installing safety and security window film on a variety of building types.  For a full assessment of your property, and expert recommendations that will work best for your business, consult a reputable security consultant in your area.

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