Best Ways to Reduce Dealership Theft
Like many other businesses, car dealerships face a wide range of security risks, from theft and vandalism to employee and customer safety. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program, there were an estimated 721,885 thefts of motor vehicles across the country in 2019. As a result, more than $6.4 billion was lost. Just imagine that statistic included a customer’s vehicle that was in for a service appointment or pending pick up the very next day!
Given the range of security issues dealership owners face, it’s critical to implement effective and reliable commercial security solutions to protect your valuable assets, peace of mind, and reputation. As experts in commercial security, we know a thing or two about keeping your business safe, so we have compiled a few recommendations you can implement to prevent theft from happening at your dealership!
8 Ways to Prevent Theft at Your Dealership
Use Updated Commercial Security Solutions
If your Myrtle Beach, SC, security system is outdated, it might be time to upgrade and employ a more modern, high-tech surveillance system. Commercial security systems are one of the best deterrents against crime and potential liability issues, in addition to being more cost-effective than a manned solution.
Security systems are always on, making them extremely reliable. Monitored commercial security systems also offer the added benefit of faster response times should something happen at your business. High-quality indoor and outdoor security cameras can provide footage in real-time that can be accessed remotely, and should be placed in all areas where there is inventory or valuable assets.
Light Up Your Car Lots
Criminals prefer to work after hours when it is unlikely there will be any employees at the facility. Installing a powerful lighting system can help you avoid giving thieves the cover they need to get in and out undetected.
Not to mention, floodlights go hand in hand with your surveillance systems and are usually reasonably priced. In addition to an outdoor lighting system, make sure to leave lights on inside the building to simulate someone is inside.
Make Cars Harder to Steal
Though you might be tempted to showcase your best and brightest outside where they are highly visible to potential customers, we recommend you keep high-value vehicles stored inside overnight. You can and should install external GPS tracking and immobilization devices inside of every vehicle, even if they already have a built-in tracking device. These are relatively inexpensive, especially when bought in bulk.
Oftentimes, criminals will attempt to tow cars out of a dealership, as this is usually much easier and quicker than stealing keys, breaking locks, and bypassing outdated security alarms. An easy deterrent is to park your cars with the emergency brake on and wheels sharply turned in one direction. Tires and rims are also a common target of theft, however, not all cars come with wheel locks. Make sure to take the extra precaution and add them yourself.
Mitigate the Risk of Internal Theft
Unfortunately, sometimes the threat may come from inside of your organization. When it comes to your inventory and assets, make sure to implement and enforce strict policies and procedures. Make sure someone trustworthy is responsible for checking that assets such as cars, keys, and dealership plates are accounted for and anti-theft technology is working properly.
Invest in external audits annually to ensure internal compliance and accountability. Once you have put these standards in place, make sure to clearly communicate them to all employees and have a system in place for if they aren’t met.
Monitor the Comings & Goings of Your Vehicles
To mitigate the risk of internal theft, make sure to implement and communicate an effective inventory management system. Ensuring a strict sign-out process can help maintain an accurate log of all your vehicles’ comings and goings.
We recommend that the ledger is as detailed as possible, including items like the employee’s name, how long the vehicle was out for, the approximate fuel in the vehicle, what the mileage was before and after departure, information of customers if it was taken for a test drive, and any noted damage to the vehicle.
Assign someone trustworthy to review the log regularly and make sure cars are not out longer than the designated time. Make sure to periodically check the log for yourself, too. Have another responsible employee regularly compare the physical units in your lot to the ongoing log you have to prevent theft.
Regularly Change Your Passwords & Locks
Too often, dealership managers leave keys and fobs in obvious places so that members of the sales team have convenient access when showing customers. However, this is the perfect opportunity for thieves and criminals in need of a way in, leaving your valuables particularly vulnerable.
Make sure to store keys and fobs in a secure location that is out of sight and only accessible by dealership staff members. Never leave your keys inside of the vehicle! Thieves know to check your gloveboxes, visors, spare tires, and other common places.
Install a Commercial Access Control System
A commercial access control system can act as another layer of protection to keep your assets safe. With this technology, you can replace keys with keycards or specialized keypads to manage access and add peace of mind. That way, those who request entry must obtain a specialized keycard, code, or remote to enter the premises.
There are also technologies available that offer access control using photo identification, biometric scans, and cloud-based software. You can also secure your dealership from external threats with an automated gate system that features secured access from telephone entry, vehicle tags or barcodes, and managed access, as well as safety features to protect bystanders and cars. These mechanisms allow you to easily change access levels or remove them altogether, if necessary.
Contact Your Local Commercial Security Experts
Keeping your dealership, assets, and employees safe can be a full-time job. Leave it to the experts in commercial security, Myrtle Beach! As a family-owned and operated Myrtle Beach security company, we take pride in protecting what matters most.
We supply local businesses with state-of-the-art commercial security solutions, from video monitoring and access control to fire protection and monitoring to entertainment solutions. Keeping your business safe and secure has never been easier – contact Coggin Security of Myrtle Beach for a free consultation today!