Find out what a smash and grab is, plus get tips to prevent them with expert advice from Twenty First Security.
What Is a Smash and Grab?
A smash and grab is a form of robbery that involves quickly smashing a barrier, such as a window or showcase, then stealing the desired valuables and attempting a quick getaway. Smash and grab thieves generally have little to no regard for creating noise and setting off alarms.
Shop display windows, display cases and cars are common targets of smash and grabs. Dimly lit and lowly populated streets, shopping arcades and car parks can be tempting for smash and grab thieves, as there’s minimal to no lighting, people or potential surveillance to spot them.
Do Smash and Grabs Occur in Australia, Victoria and Melbourne?
Unfortunately smash and grabs have occurred throughout different parts of Australia. They have occurred in Melbourne and in different cities and towns of Victoria. While many do consider Australia a safe country, we’re not invulnerable to theft and opportunistic crimes like smash and grabs.
Tips to Deter and Prevent Smash and Grabs
There are security methods you can implement to help deter and prevent smash and grabs. These are useful for a range of businesses, including many different shops like jewellery stores and technology suppliers, along with art galleries and museums, to name a few.
These methods can deter and stop smash and grab theft attempts. Opportunistic thieves may deem your premises too difficult to thieve from, giving up and instead potentially choosing an easier target.
Reinforced / Hardened Glass
Glass that is reinforced or hardened with the appropriate security measures can help stop smash and grabs. If a criminal can’t smash through the glass quickly, they may flee rather than risk being caught.
Security screens installed on windows and doors provide an effective method of stopping break ins and theft. It potentially takes considerable force, tools and / or time to get through security screens.
Commercial shutters are another very effective method of stopping thefts and break ins. They can be placed on doors and windows, covering the entire area. Like security screens and potentially even more so, it takes considerable force, tools and or time to get through shutters.
CCTV / Security Camera Surveillance
Visible CCTV / security cameras can deter opportunistic thieves before they attempt a smash and grab.
Cameras can also be effective with identifying the thieves through recorded footage, which could be provided to the police as evidence. According to the National Retail Association Australia, an estimated less than 20% of retail crimes are reported to the police. Implementing surveillance and effective recording can help your business combat criminal offenders, protecting your stock and staff.
In the case of a vehicle, park in an area with surveillance. Cameras recording what happens to your vehicle can deter theft.
Hide Your Valuables on Display When Locking Up
Do you have valuables on display in your shop or car? Hiding these when locking up can stop opportunistic thieves spotting your store or vehicle as a target for a smash and grab.
Security staff patrolling and monitoring your premises can be an incredibly effective addition towards stopping smash and grabs. There is a significant cost to using security staff regularly, thus it may not be sustainable and worthwhile to have security staff onsite all of the time for some business operations. Depending on the scale and type of your operation, security staff can be a very effective addition for operations like technology and art exhibitions, along with malls / shopping centres.
Visible security alarms and alarm signage placed on windows, display cases and cars can deter smash and grab theft attempts. They can be integrated with surveillance and monitoring systems to alert staff, security services and thus, police (depending on the grade of monitoring in Victoria and your requirements), to the attempted theft. As smash and grab criminals may disregard alarms as part of their quick efforts, visible alarms should complement other security measures.
If you’re in the area of Melbourne, Victoria, alarms are an area of security where Twenty First Security can help you. Find out more about the security alarm systems we can install for you.