Security “experts” who push a particular brand of monitoring equipment may be vendors in disguise.  Photo by kadmy via GettyImages

Security “experts” who push a particular brand of monitoring equipment may be vendors in disguise. Photo by kadmy via GettyImages

A few years ago, I worked as a GM responsible for thousands of vehicles in inventory. Truth be told, I took security very lightly. We were fortunate to be in an upscale area surrounded by other auto businesses that also had little theft. We performed the basics, but we did not go out of our way for crime prevention.

One stormy night, lightning struck. My business had been taken at a loss for thousands of dollars. The following week was one of the worst of my career. All the police reports, interviews, video footage, public news broadcasts, and being cast into the limelight made me a sleepless wreck.

We began a search to increase our security, with the hopes of never feeling vulnerable again. I reached out to industry peers who all seemed to have security problems as well. CCTV could not stop the criminals and police could do nothing to pursue someone even if the image was clear enough. Guards couldn’t stop crime either. I kept asking myself how to adequately stop crime in the future. What would it take?

Help From a Stranger

In the end, it took an unsolicited email to point me in the right direction. It went like this:

“We recently heard about your unfortunate events of crime on property. Threats exist everywhere. They will continue to exist and they will continue to evolve. Luckily, there are some tried and true methods to lock down your assets that will continue to make your auto dealership a hard target for thieves. If you would like assistance in implementation of these and more security methods, I am available to speak with you.”

The writer listed such layers of protection as fencing, motion-detection cameras, key control, and a daily inventory account, and offered a few free tips: “Leave padlocks in closed position at all times, so they are not switched out. Use block parking at the end of aisles and all entries. Park vehicle with emergency brake on and wheels sharply turned to make it difficult to tow.”

I was hooked, and in the end, I selected a service that let me sleep at night. To my knowledge, even after several years of being separated from my GM gig, I hear my choice in protection has stopped many crimes from occurring. I was still hooked years later. So much so, that I pursued a career in crime prevention consulting and advice countless professionals in the same manner I was advised years ago.

Find a Pro

A good security consultant is easy to find and will know what your business needs after a good discussion and forensic analysis. Here are a few things to consider when measuring how skilled a consultant really is:

• Do they ask you to work with a certain vendor or camera company? (If so, they are probably getting compensated for doing so and not prioritizing the best option for your needs.)

• Do they have credentials and certifications that can be verified?

• Are they flexible when considering your needs?

• Do they present you with an array of options?

Don’t be afraid to reach out, email or sign up for a quick phone call or demonstration. Get help, shut the criminals down, and set your security up right the first time.

Jon Kromroy is a regional director at Elite Interactive Solutions and has expertise in securing auto dealerships. Email him at [email protected].