Auto Thefts On The Rise - Loss Control Measures to Keep Car Thieves Away
When it comes to selling cars and trucks, the most important goal is to make the vehicles on your lot attractive to potential owners. But, unfortunately, you may be attracting auto thieves in the process of attracting car buyers.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, 721,885 vehicles were reported stolen in the United States last year (III). Nearly 2,000 would occur each day if they were evenly distributed throughout the year. While according to an examination of complaints to the Federal Trade Commission, Florida was the third-worst state for auto-related fraud.
Here are just a few examples of recent automobile theft:
Tampa Bay, FL - A car theft ring in Tampa Bay stole 41 automobiles, including Dodge Charger Hellcats and a 2021 Buccaneers Super Bowl Edition Jeep Wrangler. They were stolen by members of an auto theft ring, who broke the windows of dealership vehicles before hot-wiring them.
Cape Coral, FL — Six people are being sought by Cape Coral Police for allegedly stealing cars from the Cape Coral Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram dealership.
Hollywood, FL – To take advantage of a Fort Lauderdale vehicle dealership, a group of car thieves pretended to be customers. The dealership has yet to retrieve one of the three automobiles that were stolen early Thursday morning, but authorities say they will adjust how they do business after discovering how the suspects were able to start the cars.
Winter Haven, FL - During a "test drive" at an auto dealership in Winter Haven on Monday, an Auburndale woman attempted to steal a 2021 Chevy Equinox, according to police.
Fort Myers, FL - According to The News-Press in Fort Myers, the Naples Police Department is seeking for a guy who allegedly duped a dealership and drove away in a very expensive Bentley — a gray 2007 Bentley Continental GT.
Orlando, FL - Orlando Classic Cars of Orlando, Florida, recently announced on Facebook that its warehouse had been broken into in the early hours of June 1 and that 19 cars had been taken.
Fortunately, you may take steps to make your auto dealership less vulnerable to automobile thieves. Criminals will likely abandon up and move on if it becomes difficult for them to steal cars or car parts. Here are some risk-prevention activities you can take right now to keep the vehicles on your lot protected and defended.
These Loss Control Measures Will Keep Car Thieves Away:
Ensure that ALL dealership lots and building doors, including secondary car lots for excess inventory, are brightly lighted at night.
Install motion-activated cameras throughout your dealership that can record and save events for a few days. Make sure there are VERY obvious signage that say: Video surveillance 24/7.
When possible, store expensive automobiles (or vehicles with expensive parts) within a locked structure. For expensive cars or SUVs that must be left outside, consider wheel locks.
All keys and dealer plates, including those for customer vehicles that have been brought in for automotive servicing, should be kept in locked cabinets. (Vehicle lockboxes are insecure and will only slow down a thief for a short period of time.)
During off-hours, keep the entire perimeter of your dealership lot secured. Large cars should be put across driveway entrances to prevent anyone from pulling in with a trailer or flatbed truck or using a locked heavy steel swing gate.
Make sure the entire auto lot is surrounded by concrete or metal barriers or fences, so no one can easily drive vehicles off the lot.
Maintain an accurate and up-to-date inventory of all vehicles, keys, and license plates. You'll notice if something is missing right away.
Develop and implement a dealership's end-of-day lockdown protocol, which should include deactivating and locking down all overhead doors for the night.
Because of the high value of the inventory and its vulnerability to theft, car dealerships are good locations for video surveillance. Car dealerships must always be able to display their vehicles, but only if they are safe from security threats. Dealership owners and supervisors can watch the dealership in real-time or review previously recorded occurrences with a solid security system.