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Combatting Copper Theft and Business Burglaries

Indianapolis is seeing a marked increase in copper theft and business burglaries

If you’ve been a victim of copper theft you understand what we are about to talk about. You know first hand the problems caused by a simple oversight on your part and entitlement on the thief’s part. You know that one guy, in 5 minutes, can bring your business, your entire building, to a screeching halt for what is a few hundred bucks in copper that ends up costing you thousands and tens of thousands to repair over several days or weeks. That couple of hundred dollars in copper has caused your business to shut down, or at the very least slow down, and has cost you your ability to serve your customers and employees. All for a few hundred bucks in scrap wire. Every victim of copper theft we have met has the desire to bash the perps face in. That imaginary face they’ve built in their heads because these victims also have something else in common… They don’t know they’ve been robbed until their employees come in the next day and they don’t know by who until they get smart. Bashing their face it won’t accomplish anything, but getting them caught and arrested before they damage a single piece of your property a second time will certainly be satisfying.

Probably the biggest problem that most people don’t understand is that as business owners, we love our business, we love our employees and we lose sleep when things are not right and either of those is in danger. When we are not able to trust that our business and employees are safe, that in the morning, they will be exactly as we left them last night,  it becomes a struggle to deal with the stress. The rest of our day gets bombarded, we overreact and we are not running our businesses efficiently. At this point, we aren’t even focusing on the business, but on the hurdles and problems, and the theft.  The true cost of that few hundred dollars of scrap copper is ENORMOUS. The true cost of not protecting your business and your property ahead of time is staggering.

We have seen this play out hundreds of times.  Business owners especially are susceptible to the notion of false safety.

 “if we’ve never had to worry about that in XX years, why would we want to protect against such a thing!”

Just because it hasn’t happened does not mean it won’t, and if it already has, chances are extremely high it will happen again. This is especially true of copper theft and commercial burglaries.

So what are some solutions?

Are we all bound to be vulnerable to thieves and burglars? NO, absolutely not. However, there is no cookie cutter approach, because each business and building has its own set of vulnerabilities and areas with high potential for loss. You may have an exposed air conditioner behind your building or the main power breaker in a very convenient spot. You may have an apartment complex close by or you may have quick access to the highway. Some of these “features” were likely assets when you first saw them, until you realize that the highway allows for a perp to quickly get away, the convenient power breaker allows a copper thief to take hundreds of feet of wire with one snip, and that while one of your best employees lives in that apartment complex, so do the teenagers who snuck out last night to fill their craigslist coffers… out of YOUR inventory.

I will be honest, the solution is not only high tech sensors, video or monitoring systems. Sometimes you just need a good old fashioned fence or bars on your windows and some new lights.  However, while these are great deterrents, you will never stop someone from TRYING to steal from you, and your best defense is to ensure you have the proper systems to get them to leave or be immediately arrested. (we prefer the arrested option.) It’s tough to take a step back from your business and see it without bias. That’s why it is invaluable to have a trusted security advisor. Have regular conversations with your security provider about your risks and potential solutions. If your security provider won’t talk to you without charging you or having you sign another contract, then call us. We like solving problems and we don’t charge for a conversation.

Solutions to problems this big are not cheap, but they are cheaper than becoming a victim (again), and they are certainly cheaper than becoming a victim with no safeguards in place at all. Something is always better than nothing. I’m sure that’s not really comforting if you’re one of the thousands of business owners who have been burglarized recently, but its true. Once you’ve been hit by a burglary or copper theft, its tough to see how much worse it COULD have been. Of course, it’s still your responsibility to protect your business and employees from the damages of unneeded repairs, lost productivity, and everything else that happens after you get hit. You owe it to yourself, your business and your employees to continually improve your security. If you haven’t improved it in several years, it might be time to take a second look. This is why the right solution is better than something… even something is better than nothing.

So how do we solve the problem of copper theft and business burglaries?

We look at  your business, your people, your processes and your building and we find solutions to YOUR problems using technology. We make it easy to use so it works out of sight and sin the background and we approach each business differently. We can use video verification on motion detection, we can use traditional alarm systems, HD video surveillance, text notification, open and close reporting and cellular communications. We can protect your business with or without wires, while you are working and while you are on vacation.

Video verification allows us to physically see what your alarm sees and give that info to IMPD police dispatchers. We can use low-resolution SiteWATCH sensors or we can tie an otherwise traditional alarm to our HD video surveillance systems. When police respond, they do not only know where in your building they are going, but they know who they’re looking for!  SiteWATCH can be implemented indoors or outdoors and is much more affordable than a security guard… and it doesn’t fall asleep.

The big point to take away from this is that there are many things that can be done to protect your business from burglary and theft, copper or otherwise. There are as many ways as there are businesses, really. So any security company who says they have a cookie cutter approach to YOUR problems without listening to them isn’t trying to solve YOUR problems. They’re just trying to land a sale.

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