If you are the owner or manager of an automotive dealership based in Western Canada, it’s highly likely that you have heard about the ongoing story involving Vancouver’s Dueck Downtown dealership and David Bolton.
On the morning of April 24, 2012, as reported by CBC News, David Bolton stole a brand-new GMC Sierra pickup truck parked on the lot of Dueck Downtown. The vehicle had its keys in the ignition, the engine running and the door unlocked for around 40 minutes before Bolton stole the vehicle.
Unfortunately, the theft led to a chain of events that resulted in injuries to a civilian and a police officer.
Disciplinary proceedings were made against three RCMP officers who ignored directions to call off chasing the vehicle, and an eight-year-long legal battle began over an automotive dealership’s responsibility when it comes to foreseeing the possibility of injuries sustained due to the theft of one of its vehicles.
This week BC’s Court of Appeal overturned a judge’s earlier decision that apportioned blame to Dueck Downtown, finding that the automotive dealership had no way of predicting what could happen in the hours after Bolton stole the truck.
While the business has now been absolved of any blame, the case does highlight just how important proper automotive dealership security is. Not only will security solutions protect your business from damaging crimes such as theft and vandalism, it can also help to prove that your business is not responsible for blame as long as the right measures are taken to protect your vehicles.
How can you secure your automotive dealership?
Just like any business, automotive dealerships have to protect their compounds and buildings from the threat of criminals. Not only are you vulnerable from criminals trying to break into your building and steal vehicle keys, you are also vulnerable to vandalism and the theft of vehicle parts such as catalytic converters, airbags, tires and rims.Taking the right precautions will ensure your staff stay safe, your highly-valuable vehicles aren’t stolen and that your premises aren't breached. To help keep your automotive dealership is secure, Sonitrol Western Canada has listed a few proactive measures your business should implement:
Install verified security
Unlike conventional surveillance that merely records a criminal activity as it’s taking place without notifying the appropriate first responders, a verified security solution will stop a criminal in their tracks. That means your business will be secure from damage and the loss of assets.
Sonitrol’s innovative verified technology monitors both the inside and outside of your dealership at all hours of the day, and is activated by highly-sensitive motion, heat and audio controls that detect criminals.
If a criminal is detected, a security expert in our central monitoring station is informed. They are able to verify the solution and directly provide your local police officers with real-time information.
Since these alarms are verified and significantly cut out the false alarms associated with conventional CCTV, police respond to verified alarms with an average dispatch time of just 3-4 minutes - meaning criminals are stopped in their tracks before they can damage your business or make off with valuable assets.
Park vehicles strategically
Criminals are far more likely to target an automotive dealership when it looks like they can easily drive off with one of their vehicles. That’s why it’s important that you park vehicles strategically.
Simple measures such as creating barricades in front of vehicles, turning the wheels when parked and leaving the e-brake on will prevent criminals from being able to drive them off of your lot quickly or tow them away.
Regularly check your perimeter for weak spots
Criminals are constantly adapting their methods, and that means your dealership should be always looking to improve its security. Make sure you do regular thorough checks of your lot and building and identify any areas that you believe might be weak spots, such as areas where thieves can drive off with new cars, steal keys or access your office.
Remember, if you are unsure it’s always useful to get advice from an expert. A security professional will be able to design a security plan that meets the unique needs of your premises.
Want to learn more about dealership security, or simply want a free analysis of your current security measures? Contact Sonitrol Western Canada today. Our team of highly-trained security experts would love to help.