What to Do if Your Shop Was Broken Into

You hear it on the news all the time – crime rates go up or crime rates go down, but it doesn’t really seem to affect you. It’s just data, and everyone knows that the pandemic had a big impact on the type of crimes being committed and by whom.

However, if it happens to you, the situation turns on its head and you feel the pain and angst of all those business owners on the news. The experience is, sadly, quite common amongst business owners all over the world as most of them had to go through it at least once in their careers.

Plus, the situation is different from when a big shop gets hit. Sure, it’s equally tragic, but big brands are backed by serious insurance policies and take theft and burglary into account. Small shop owners and entrepreneurs feel it’s a personal attack and won’t be able to go over the event easily.

Still, if you are in the unpleasant situation of having your shop broken into and vandalized, it’s important to know what to do (besides cursing and getting angry). Here are a few tips to help you get through these tough times and maybe recover a bit faster.

#1: Call the Police

Unless they are already on the scene (called by a neighbor or a passerby), you have to contact the police as soon as you’re sure there was a break-in.

Also, don’t go inside and don’t try to investigate by yourself! First, you don’t know if the burglary is still in progress and you could step into a violent situation. Second, you might destroy valuable evidence which could lead to apprehending the intruders.

Once the police arrive, make sure to give them all the necessary details and maintain a polite demeanor. Even if you are upset, which is understandable, it won’t do you any good to lash out at the police. Also, ask them when it would be best to reopen the business.

#2: Carry Out an Audit & Prepare for Improvements

Document the event by taking pictures and filming the affected areas. Also, make note of missing items, money, or other valuables. Organize your notes, collect proof of ownership for the missing or broken items, and get in touch with the insurance company.

Once everything is sorted, it’s time to re-open the business and make security improvements. Try to identify the entry point and understand how the burglars got in – did they have a tough time or was your shop an easy target?

Install physical security measures that limit access to the core areas of your business such as the storage area, cash register, payment systems, and so on. Also, if you have an on-site parking lot, it helps to install manual barrier gates. This will make it more difficult to bring a vehicle close to the store during closing hours.

You should also check your current surveillance system and see if it has any blind spots. If you don’t have a surveillance system, now it’s the best time to get one! You may also want to connect it with motion sensors that can trigger an alarm with the security company and/or yourself.

Wrap Up

Having your shop broken into is a traumatic experience, but you can learn from it. Start by increasing the security in your shop and work through your anger by designing a bullet-proof security plan that will keep any other attempts at bay.

Sadly, burglary and theft by customers or employees are common crimes around the world. However, as long as you follow the proper channels and learn how to protect your business, things should return to normal.

Posted by Dragan Sutevski

Dragan Sutevski is a founder and CEO of Sutevski Consulting, creating business excellence through innovative thinking. Get more from Dragan on Twitter. Contact Dragan