How Thieves Think: A Guide Preventing Asset Theft

How Thieves Think: A Guide Preventing Asset Theft

Managers are typically in charge of assets that are highly valuable and expense, such as trailers, trucks, vehicles, and the equipment used by companies within their industries. So, how do you keep these assets safe? One of the best methods to keep assets safe is by ‘knowing the enemy’, and in this case, the enemy is a thief. Techniques involve being proactive regarding vehicle and equipment theft when the fleet is on the road. By reversing your perspective as the manager, you can assist them by revealing vulnerabilities in the equipment’s security before any thieves have a chance to take advantage of these vulnerabilities.

So, think like a thief to protect the fleet.

The question is, how do you think like a thief if you’re an honest person? Let’s take a quick look at the character of a thief and how this knowledge can be used to your advantage.

Point #1: Thieves Enjoy Window-Shopping

When it comes to reviewing the potential theft opportunities, visibility is any criminal’s best friend. Leaving certain valuables or assets open to view is like setting out an open invitation to potentially steal items; for example, Bonzini table football is highly sought after for their high resale value.

To avoid this issue with specialty equipment and tools, it is recommended to have tinted windows. Also, assigning ‘homes’ for smaller items of value helps ensure that all items are in their rightful position at the end of the day.

Point #2: Thieves Are Highly Interested In Making a ‘Quick Buck’

A thief will always want to steal something they can sell for a profit. Construction equipment and tools, such as trailers and work trucks, are popular items because of the high selling value.

Knowing the market value or ‘going rate’ of your assets is a beneficial means of reducing theft. Ask yourself, what is the asset worth and which item is most vulnerable from this perspective? It is these assets that you will want to protect most carefully. Part of the reason construction machinery is so popular is because these assets do not always have serial numbers; therefore, making it difficult for the new owner to determine if it was stolen. Ensure that all property is labelled and branded using permanent identifiers. This will make it clear if an asset is stolen when thieves attempt to sell it.

Point #3: Thieves Are Not Risk Takers

A thief will do everything to avoid the potentiality of being caught. So, if an item appears to be protected in some manner, such as locked down with locks or under an alarm system, the chances are likely they won’t try to steal it.

Point #4: Thieves Do Not Enjoy Being Caught

This point may seem an obvious one, but it is essential for understanding how thieves think and how to deter their efforts. As an asset manager, it is important that you make it an effort for the thief to steal and get away. The equipment should be catalogued and all items should be accounted for; however, if you discover an item is missing, you will need some course of action to address the problems.

It is recommended that you have a recovery system in place. What is a recovery system, I hear you ask. A recovery system is a process involving GPS tracking technology for all the assets. Moreover, the tracking device will be concealed making it difficult for the thief to detect and deactivate. Remember, as much as you may want to act as the hero with tracking software, do not attempt to chase after the thief; always report the theft to the relevant law enforcement agency. Reporting the theft is something you must do regardless of whether there is a tracking system installed in the assets or not.

It is also recommended that you do not wait for the theft to occur – take measures to prevent it before you are a victim. If your company’s security is inferior, the thief will find a way to take advantage of the vulnerabilities. Arm assets with deterrents and recovery systems to ensure the overall protection of the items.

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