What are Commercial Robberies?
Commercial robbery can take place inside or outside of business hours. A commercial robbery is similar to a commercial break-in, except there is an interaction between a robber and an employee or store owner. Also, robbers accessing a business in the guise of a client or customer can sometimes access employee lockers or make off with goods from the shelves, staff rooms or storage areas. If no interaction takes place, then this would be classified as theft.
Lone employees working late or on the weekend are in more danger of being robbed, and robbery always carries potential violence. That’s why locking the doors when onsite alone and utilizing panic buttons, etc., are an excellent practice to protect employees. Peel Regional Police has an informative article on business security that offers more tips for securing commercial buildings.
What are Commercial Break-Ins?
Commercial break-ins most commonly occur overnight when a business is closed. While this seems like common sense, it’s not unheard of for theft to occur when a company is open. In rare cases, businesses have been broken into while closed for lunch or in the evening shortly after closing time.
If businesses are shut down again due to the second wave of Covid-19, there will be more commercial break-ins opportunities. With expectations of increased crime throughout the entire Covid-19 pandemic, London Police have been proactively shifting resources around the city wherever crime starts to flare up. You can read more about their efforts in this Global News Article, which was released earlier this year.
For recent data on crime statistics in London, Ontario, you can view the London Crime Map.
The Impact of Commercial Break-Ins
The biggest threat to a business is a break-and-enter outside of business hours. The costly damage is done during the break-in activity. This can include the loss of stock or equipment needed to process orders and communicate with clients. The mess can take up an entire business day or more to recover. Break-ins can also leave a considerable psychological impact on business owners and employees. An article by CTV News London highlights a handful of the commercial break-ins the city has been experiencing this year since Covid-19 took off.
While break-ins can sometimes be random crimes of opportunity, they can be planned to a large or small degree. Casing a business during open hours can reveal weaknesses in security and locations of valuables. We hear of places that change layouts, and suddenly expensive items were in a backroom used previously for junk storage. The fact that that room was not adequately protected was not changed when the stock moved around, and sure enough, someone soon planned a strategic break-in.