It's long been rumored that crime rates increase on Halloween. Some cities, like Boston,have stats to prove it. Other sources say it depends on the type of crime. For example, property crimes are more common on October 31 than on any other day of the year. Tampering with candy, on the other hand, isn't as common a crime as you might think.
Either way, it's important to remember that crime does happen on Halloween, so you need to take measures to protect your business. Here are a couple of "tricks" to look out for this Halloween.
Crimes in Costume
Kids aren't the only ones who like to dress up. For some criminals, Halloween provides the perfect opportunity to disguise their identity by donning a costume without looking out of place. Here are just a few examples:
- Several years ago in Cocoa, FL, masked burglars targeted more than 30 businesses during October and the surrounding months. The robbers' costume choices included gorillas, a skull and a ghost.
- In 2017, a mob of 50 to 60 teens in costume robbed multiple people celebrating the holiday in Alameda, CA.
- One crook brought the slasher series "Halloween" to life at a Seattle business when he put on a Michael Myers mask and violently forced an employee to empty the contents of a cash safe into a bag.
Fortunately, there are ways to prepare your business for the threat of burglars in disguise.
What to Do: To protect your business this Halloween, double check your physical security measures, such as securing the premises by locking every entryway that isn't used regularly, restricting access to nonpublic points of entry and storing keys in an electronic key control system. Also make sure you educate your employees on how to prepare for and respond to armed threats.
Halloween is one of car thieves' favorite holidays, with more than 2,500 cars stolen on Halloween alone in 2016 (the latest data available). Between trick-or-treating and costume parties, Halloween presents plenty of distractions, which criminals use to their advantage.
At one house party in Pennsylvania, for example, a thief tracked down a partygoer's unattended car keys, located the vehicle in the home's driveway and drove off. In Athens, OH, a thief simply hopped into an idling car and drove off in it.
Are you confident your employees are taking precautions to avoid these scenarios when driving company vehicles?
What to Do: Make sure your company's fleet vehicles are locked and, if possible, stored out of sight from the public. If you have employees who are using company vehicles on a long-term basis, remind them of vehicle safety tips such as not leaving the car unattended while idling, keeping track of the keys and storing valuables in the glove box or trunk.
By planning ahead, you can experience more tricks than treats this Halloween.