Robbers targeting convenience stores is a common trope in movies and in real life. But these establishments aren't the only ones on thieves radars. Pretty much any small business with a cash register is a candidate for burglary these days, including auto parts stores.
Business owners and managers hope the day a robber walks through their front door or breaks a window never arrives. But if it did, would you be ready? For example, establishing a safety net with business insurance for auto parts stores will make any losses you incur less devastating. Besides that, it's on you to reduce your theft risk ahead of time and have a safety plan in place.
This year alone, auto parts stores around the U.S. have been the victims of plenty of armed robberies. Over the summer, a lone thief wearing a ski mask robbed an Auto Zone in Gary, Indiana. The intruder made employees fill up his backpack with money from the safe before fleeing the scene. He got away with somewhere between $1,200 and $1,400 in the bag.
A similar situation recently occurred in San Diego, California. A suspect robbed an O'Reilly Auto Parts store around 9:30 p.m., making away with $500.
Now, most customers enter your store genuinely seeking advice and auto parts befitting their vehicles. But it's a good rule of thumb in business to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. That way, you'll have a plan in place before your store faces an emergency like a robbery.
People are more likely to rob you if they believe you have something worth stealing. This is why the CDC identifies “poor cash-handling policy” as one of the risk factors for being robbed. Avoid letting cash build up in your registers throughout the day. A stuffed cash drawer may tempt visitors scouting possible locations for their next heist. Develop a system for transferring money safely from the cash register, to the safe, and to the bank.
The visual cues you place around your auto parts store can lend a hand in deterring shoplifters and robbers. On or near your front door, place a security notice—something with a depiction of a surveillance camera or eyes. Make sure it warns entrants that your security system is in use.
You can also hang signs around your store informing people that your employees carry no cash. The Columbus Policy Department provides examples: “safe cannot be accessed by employees” and “cash limits are kept [to] a minimum.”
Finally, your auto parts store needs a solid security system to back-up these warnings. Besides video cameras placed strategically inside and outside the store, add an alarm system.
At the end of the day, you can replace the cash from your register or safe. It's better to comply with robbers to reduce the risk of employee or customer harm. But taking safety precautions ahead of time can help reduce your risk of theft altogether.
Good news: Theft is a covered event under the property portions of standard Business Owners Policies. The right business insurance policy for your auto store will protect your financial well-being after an unexpected robbery. Find a fitting policy through CoverHound today!