Steps Businesses Can Take to Help Deter Burglary


April 24, 2020

Dear Business Owner;

With businesses adjusting to different hours of operation or having to temporarily close, it is a good time to review your security and “target harden” your premises. Here are a few tips:

Discovering a Break-in: If you observe signs of a break-in at your property, call the police immediately and do not enter until their arrival, as the perpetrators may still be inside.

Safeguard Crime Scene: If your business has been burglarized, DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING, as areas touched by the burglars, or items left behind, can contain DNA or Fingerprint evidence that can be collected by the police for the purpose of identification and prosecution.

Perimeter Security: Use judicial placement of signage, landscaping, fencing, or other amenities that denote ownership and control access. Make sure mail and packages are not piling up outside.

Security Gates/Locks: All gates when closed should be secured with heavy duty padlocks with hardened steel shackles. All fencing should be in good repair.
Sidewalk Openings: The openings and their frames should be properly secured and alarmed.

Climbing Aids: Check your property for items that can be used as climbing aids such as ladders, pallets and garbage cans. Make sure that anything found is locked up or promptly removed.

Protective Lighting: The importance of adequate lighting cannot be stressed enough. It is necessary for safe operations and can aid in crime prevention. It is helpful to security personnel and police to detect unauthorized or suspicious persons. Good lighting creates the image of a well-maintained and supervised property. Ensure all entrances are well-lit and there is adequate interior lighting.

Doors and Locks: Make sure doors and door frames are of adequate construction, commercial grade locks are installed, functioning properly, and have edge guards to prevent prying. Exposed hinges require non-removable pins.
Windows: Protect accessible windows with locks, security films, grilles, or bars. Glass in doors also needs to be protected.

Roof openings: Openings such as skylights and ventilators should be secured and alarmed. Note: In some recent burglaries, thieves have cut through the roof.

Video Surveillance Systems (VSS): Make sure you have a VSS installed which will permit remote viewing of a situation, condition or activity, either immediately, as the condition occurs or after a delay, when it is recorded. Make sure there is immediate access for police to your recorded video in the event a crime occurs at your location.

  • Cameras: Make sure all cameras are functioning, are well positioned and views are unobstructed. Construction, scaffolding and the addition of signage can often obstruct views of existing cameras. Cameras should also be installed on the exterior. If you can view your cameras remotely and see a crime in progress, be sure to call the police and report what you are seeing in addition to any notifications being made by your alarm company.
  • Digital Video Recorder (DVR): A DVR is essential in that it saves video images which are used to determine how a condition occurred and for evidence when a crime has taken place. Check that the time is accurate on your DVR. Your DVR should be capable of recording 24/7 and storing videos for a minimum of 60 days. Note: In a recent supermarket burglary, the DVR was stolen-make sure yours is well secured, out of sight.

Alarm Systems: If you don’t already have one, install an alarm system. Please be sure to test existing alarms with your central station provider and update emergency contact lists.

Cash Registers: Make sure cash registers are empty and left open to deter unnecessary damage.

Safes: Change the combination of any safes, especially if employees have moved on. Safes should be alarmed, located in alarmed locked rooms and in view of security cameras. Jewelry should be removed from display cases and stored in the safe. Do not store large amounts of cash on the premises, make frequent bank drops at varied times, or arrange for cash to be picked up. In some recent burglaries, safes have been broken into with tools. Make sure you have a safe with a high enough “torch and tool” UL listing for the value of the property being stored.  Note: When installing any security devices, please ensure compliance with local, state, and national fire and life safety codes.

Graffiti: The Crime Prevention Division recommends immediately reporting the graffiti to the police. If you find items are left behind, such as spray paint cans or markers, they can be useful to obtain possible fingerprint evidence. Record the graffiti with a picture and do not touch anything until after the police have investigated.

NYPD Crime Stoppers: Follow the Crime Stoppers Twitter Account to see wanted posters and videos related to crimes occurring in your area.

Hate Crime/Bias Incidents: All hate crimes are serious incidents and are treated as such by the New York City Police Department. Crimes that are motivated by hate are vigorously investigated by the NYPD Hate Crime Task Force. Follow them on Twitter at to keep abreast of current hate crime and bias incident related news.

Crime Prevention Officer: Your local precinct Crime Prevention Officer is available to assist with tips for securing your premises. Visit to find the name, email address and phone number for yours.

NYPD Crime Prevention Division Twitter:
Lastly, please follow us on Twitter for up to the minute information on scams and prevention related tips. @NYPDCPD

Best regards,
Jessica E. Corey
Deputy Inspector
Commanding Officer
NYPD Crime Prevention Division
260 11th Avenue, 6th Fl.
New York, NY 10001
(718) 312-4729