Halloween has a reputation for increased crime. Is this perception accurate? It depends. 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 as you might think.
Either way, it's important to remember that crime does happen during spooky season, 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:
- In Cocoa, Florida, masked burglars targeted more than 30 businesses during October and the surrounding months. The robbers' costume choices included gorillas, a skull and a ghost.
- A mob of as many as 50 teens in costume robbed multiple people celebrating the holiday in Alameda, California.
- 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 2,191 cars stolen on Halloween alone in 2019 (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, Ohio, a thief simply hopped into an idling car and drove off in it.
What to Do: Whether your business is a dealership with a lot full of vehicle inventory, a body shop with a bay filled with customers' cars, or a company with a vehicle fleet, make sure all vehicles are locked and, if possible, stored out of sight from the public. Never leave keys inside a car. Instead, secure them inside an electronic key control system.
If you'll have employees out and about in company vehicles on Halloween, remind them of vehicle safety tips such as not leaving the car unattended while idling, keeping track of the keys, and not storing valuables in the glove box or trunk.
By planning ahead, you can experience more treats than tricks this Halloween.