Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers is warning businesses across the Lower Mainland about a recent streak of brazen robberies, break-ins and vandalism incidents.
In collaboration with local police, the non-profit society has created a list of preventative measures that small and large businesses can take to protect their property, while warning that businesses serving the public are “especially exposed to this kind of risk.”
The news release, put out on Jan. 18, advises to move merchandise away from windows or altogether from easy-access retail spaces and to install shatter-proof glass in windows or window shutters if your store is in a high-risk area for crime.
Keep the sightlines to your business clear by trimming shrubs and keeping windows clear of posters and signs that block your visibility, and flood your store with light on the inside and outside to ensure that those spaces are well-lit.
Lock valuables in a safe, record their serial numbers or engrave them with a driver’s license number in case they’re stolen and later recovered if you’re unable to remove them from the premises.
Check your locks regularly and have one key and lock for outside doors while having a different key and lock for interior doors. Make sure to re-key your business if keys are lost while keeping a log of who has keys to the business.
The release also suggests checking that your alarm is working properly and to shred any sensitive papers.
“Police work hard to find those responsible for these kinds of crimes, but reducing your own risk as much as possible could help prevent you from becoming a victim in the first place,” said Linda Annis, executive director of Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers, in the release.
“And if you have information about someone responsible for these crimes, but don’t want to be identified, we urge you to contact Crime Stoppers with an anonymous tip. You will never be called and never be identified.”
Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers is a non-profit society and registered charity that offers rewards for anonymous tip information about criminal activity and provides it to investigators in the communities of Metro Vancouver.
They accept tips in 115 different languages and will pay a reward up to $5,000 for information leading to an arrest of a criminal, recovery of stolen property, seizure of illegal drugs and guns or denial of a fraudulent insurance claim.
To send in an anonymous tip, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or 1-855-448-8477 or online at: solvecrime.ca.