Safety tips offered to businesses following burglaries – Newnan Times

Published Saturday, July 28, 2012 in Local

By JOHN A. WINTER

john@newnan.com

In light of a series of recent residential and business burglaries in the downtown Newnan area, Main Street Newnan is sharing some safety tips from the city’s police department.

At least 10 such burglaries have been reported in the last two weeks, and police have arrested one individual on five burglary counts.

Buford Lewis Newson Jr., 55, faces four counts for burglaries at One Roof Ecumenical Outreach facility on Temple Avenue. He’s also charged with one count for the burglary at the Carolyn Barron Montessori School at 195 Jackson St., that was broken into July 18.

Among the tips include installing video surveillance equipment and alarm systems, both for after hours and panic alarms during business hours.

It’s also important to be careful with money. Never use “money bags” for deposits and try to keep as little cash as possible in the registers.

Most important, if you are robbed during business hours, cooperate with the suspect, especially if they have a gun. Money can be replaced, lives can’t. When in doubt about suspicious activity, err on the side of caution – call the police.

Tips from the Newnan Police Department include:

• Have at least two employees open and close the business.

• Do not release personal information to strangers.

• Keep purses and personal valuables locked in desks or lockers.

• Install an alarm that covers both afterhours intrusions and robberies (Panic alarm).

• Have a video surveillance system installed. Cameras should be located at all entry and exit doors as well as cameras throughout the business. Height markers should be placed at the doorways to assist police in knowing the suspects’ correct height.

• Managers should be trained on how to operate the video system.

• Vary times and routes of travel for bank deposits.

• Don’t use marked “moneybags” that make it obvious to would-be robbers you are carrying money for deposit.

• Keep a low balance in the cash register.

• Place excess money in a safe or deposit it as soon as possible.

• Cooperate with the robber for your own safety and the safety of others. Comply with a robber’s demands. Remain calm and think clearly. Make mental notes of the robber’s physical description and other observations important to law enforcement officers.

• If you have a silent alarm and can reach it without being noticed, use it. Otherwise, wait until the robber leaves.

• Be careful, most robbers are just as nervous as you are.

• Keep your business neat and clean. A tidy, orderly place of business is inviting to customers, but not to robbers. Dressing neatly also sends the right message.

• Stay alert! Know who is in your business and where they are. Watch for people who hang around without buying anything. Also, be aware of suspicious activity outside your place of business. Write down license numbers of suspicious vehicles if visible from the inside of your business.

• Make sure the sales counter can be seen clearly. Don’t put up advertisements, flyers, displays, signs, posters or other items on windows or doors that might obstruct the view of the register from inside or outside your business. The police cruising by your store need to see in.

• Try to greet customers as they enter your business. Look them in the eye, and ask them if they need help. Your attention can discourage a robber.

• Keep your business well-lit, inside and outside. Employees should report any burned-out lights to the business owner or manager. Keep trees and bushes trimmed, so they don’t block any outdoor lights.

• Encourage the police to stop by your business.

• Learn the names of the officers who patrol your business.

• Use care after dark. Be cautious when cleaning the parking lot or taking out the trash at night. Make sure another employee inside the business keeps you within eye contact while you are involved in work details outside of your building.

• If you see something suspicious, call the police. Never try to handle it yourself. It could cost you your life.

• Handle cash carefully. Avoid making your business a tempting target for robbers. Keep the amount of cash in registers low. Drop all large bills right away. If a customer tries to pay with a large bill, politely ask if he or she has a smaller one. Explain that you keep very little cash on hand.

• Use only one register at night. Leave other registers empty and open. Tilt the register drawer to show there is no money in it.

• Leave blinds and drapes partially open during closing hours.

• Make sure important signs stay posted. For example, the front door should bear signs that say, “Clerk Cannot Open the Time Lock Safe.”

More Safety Info:

  1. Business Briefs: Oldcastle wins East Performance Cup and safety award – Newnan Times
  2. Cole: Steps to keep businesses safer
  3. Safety inspections don’t hurt businesses-study
  4. Berkeley Heights Police Offering Home and Business Safety Surveys
  5. UMass survey finds parking, safety top downtown businesses’ list of concerns

 

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