Top 5 theft increases since onset of COVID-19 due to commodity prices and adjusted business plans.
During our “NEW” Normal as we continue to navigate the COVID landscape, at Security ONE Alarm Systems we have seen a dramatic spike in a few key areas of theft and criminal activity. During our research, we have found that major world or regional events that have catastrophic effects on society crime in general increases as criminals and/or non-criminals are looking for ways to stay above water and or continue to thrive illegally. Seeing as many businesses implemented contingency plans to staff at skeleton levels, with many not attending the workplace/job site as regularly, this opened the door for crimes of opportunity. Crimes of opportunity due to less eyes on site, less site activity, and overall decline in awareness of site assets.
So, what continue to be the areas we are focused on protecting with our clients? We’ve found that the majority of concerns that have heightened have come in a way of outdoor assets. Crimes that can be committed in the dark of night, with little light, little activity, and in many cases little recourse.
- Catalytic Converter Theft – As discussed in our prior blog, we looked at the reasons behind this dramatic increase. All this fueled by a rising cost in precious metals, which are utilized to minimize the sound being emitted from all vehicle types. Some of these metals have seen a 2000% increase in value, which to a trained thief is an easy source of cash after procuring the precious metals. It is also known to be a fast and easy target, as trained professionals can remove these items in less than a minute in most cases. Lastly many of our clients have a fleet of vehicles ranging upwards of 20 vehicles, which if targeted could be a very costly theft.
- Copper Wire – Similar to catalytic converters, copper being a precious metal and, in some cases, readily available in fenced yards, A/C units on rooftops, and utility sites – there is open opportunities all over our communities. We have been on many sites recently discussing the aftermath of these thefts and what we could do to prevent future loss. All of these assessments and prevention plans include the use of Proactive Video Monitoring.
- Tailgates – Head scratcher here, but again a crime of opportunity, with car lots having loads of inventory at the start of COVID-19, access to the lots (pretending to be interested in vehicles) at all hours of the night. Simply put, this again is a crime around metal. Metal that could be converted to cash, which fulfills many thieves needs in a quick and efficient way. Many dealerships have reached out to us, to further discuss how we can provide a security solution that stops the crime in action, which in the case again focuses heavily on Proactive Video Monitoring, and eyes on the video as the crime is in progress.
- Wood – The rising cost of wood through COVID – 19 was a shocker to many. Mills were simply not able to keep up to the demand of consumers, as consumers looked to home renovations and ways to spruce up cottages as opposed to travelling to islands or oversees. With skyrocketing demand, prices soared, and wood became a commodity that many could either no longer afford, or even source. Thieves then began to utilize this new found demand to capitalize either by stealing to create their “OWN” oasis, or to sell the stolen wood, again to convert to cash through buy and sells, Kijiji or yard sales. Of note – wood is found in several places, job sites for construction, lumber yards, mills etc. All of which had to scramble to protect the assets that were being targeted by thieves.
- Job Trailers – Many contractors, builders, renovators, store all their tools, and job assets in trailers on job sites. As renovations, and build outs rose, due to an increase for some in liquid capital due to non-travel, the number of trailers being left on job sites created another crime of opportunity. These crimes are painful for small business owners, as many have invested thousands of dollars in their equipment, to have it all but disappear in a matter of one night. Criminals would hitch onto the trailer, take it off site, and be able to liquidate both the assets inside the trailer as well as the trailer itself in a matter of days. As a small business owner, with all your tools gone, finishing, or starting new jobs became either impossible or delayed. This causing stress, and panic for small business owners, and the clients they are working to service.
It has become apparent to us at Security ONE that Proactive Video Monitoring, being proactive by providing video of crimes in progress to our central station Intervention Specialists is crucial to protecting our clients’ onsite assets. All our Sales Consultants have been through extensive training to understand site vulnerabilities to be able to build a security plan together with our clients.