Hard up for cash? Rob a Dollar Store.

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12/15/2009
Actually, I'm not sure just how much cash you can score at a Dollar Store (I frequent the one in Gray, Maine, pretty often because they have cheap Matchbox cars and crayons, which make the kids happy, but I never carry cash and always swipe my debit card for my mammoth $3 purchases), but they're apparently open to random cash-grabs and aren't doing much to stop robberies of any kind. Check this story out of Cincy. My favorite graph:
Family Dollar Stores are getting robbed all across the country, time and time again because word has gotten out among the bad guys, that these stores are easy targets and law enforcement says it looks like the company just chalks up the robberies to the cost of doing business.
Other than the random comma placement, that's a pretty amazing paragraph. There is a string of robberies occurring at Family Dollar because some kind of underground criminal network (are these guys on Facebook?) has passed the word around that they're easy pickings. That would seem to be bad for business, but let's see what happens in this here story. Maybe they talk to someone at the Family Dollar. Um, nope:
Earlier today Local 12 Reporter Rich Jaffe attempted to contact the media people for Family Dollar. He wanted to know if after all these robberies they're planning on doing anything to beef up security but he received no reply.
Good thing they gave Family Dollar part of a day to return the random phone call from some joker at a local television station. Better just put out the bulletin that they suck at security and don't care if they get robbed. That seems fair. It's good to know the cops value the security systems, though:
"It's very frustrating, a simple video would help us with solving this, minimize our time on this, some security system, an alarm system would give us a time frame to start with it would be a great help to us." Investigators in Brown County say they're not even sure what order the stores were hit, because due to the lack of security systems there's no record of when they were robbed, but finding which stores to rob is easy.
Maybe those quotes would be helpful in the sales process? Don't be the guy the cops wish had a security system? Also, that damned Internet keeps making things hard for the forces of good:
"We have concerns obviously whoever is breaking in to these businesses, they're able to go on the website for the business and find out what the locations are. With the information age and the internet you can find all of your stores and then just line them up and hit as many as they want in one night, so yes it is a concern."
Interesting security conundrum: Do you not post the locations of your stores for fear that robbers will know where to find you? Or might that hurt business?
Investigators say the thieves were able to easily get into the safes in all three stores, making off with nearly $10,000 in just one night but the concern goes beyond just the money.
Now whether you've got an alarm or not, what kind of safe are these Family Dollar guys using that so easy for a bunch of meth heads to break into? Is it store policy to leave the combination taped to the side of the safe or something? And if Family Dollar only loses $3,000 each time a store gets robbed, maybe I can see where a security system doesn't make a lot of sense. What's a surveillance system run a fairly large retail operation? At least five times that, right? Even for a crappy one? So, Family Dollar is betting it's not robbed five times in, say, a three-year period. Maybe that was a good bet before Cincinnati decided to tell the world they don't have any security. But the crooks had probably tweeted about that already.

Comments

Why most organizations do not publicize this approach, I think it's fairly common. For instance, most banks train their employees not to contest a robbery. It is simply not worth the risk and liability if an employee or customer is harmed.

Drawing attention to this policy is likely not prudent. Adopting it discretely likely is.

Too true. While maddening, a lot of organisations look at the price of security and deduct it from the price of the average loss over a short period, and only buy into security if the sum is a large positive number. Homeowners are different, of course, because they've got an emotional attachment to the loss, but homeowners are stapped for cash nowadays.