Vehicles are good targets for theft due to their value, whether as a whole or parts. Fleet vehicles can be even highly attractive targets as they are often loaded with valuable merchandise and may have expensive equipment inside. Theft of fleet automobiles can cost the business huge sums of money in terms of lost goods, property, and unrealized sales. The big question then is whether the theft of fleet vehicle can be prevented.
The simple answer s theft cannot be prevented wholly. However, the fleet management and owners can try to reduce the risks of fleet vehicles theft. In this era of technological advancement, it would be prudent to make use of technology to mitigate fleet vehicle theft. Some of the technological innovations that can be used include automatic counters from EyeRide. This tool offers real-time information about the bus location, the passenger count, number of passengers per drop point, and other relevant data concerning your vehicle. This article delves into some anti-theft strategies incorporating low- and high-tech means accessible to fleet operators.
Curbing Smash-and-Grab Theft Incidents
These are spontaneous and opportunistic theft incidents that happen because a thief has got an opportunity to steal, but not because they had set out to steal from a specific vehicle. The criminals capitalize on the driver and other crew members’ total concentration on particular tasks such as hurrying to deliver or pick goods so that they do not realize they have not locked the vehicle doors or have left the windows rolled down. Some strategies to deal with this include:
- Darken the tint on the widows of the fleet vehicles to the darkest legally accepted tint. This will deny the thieves the sureness of what is inside the vehicle. The thieves’ main motivation is that they can hastily grab whatever they are seeing from the outside, and make away with it.
- Fit the fleet vehicles with safety glass and smash-resistant glass film to minimize the chances of window shattering and easy entry.
- Vehicle caging, where cages made of heavy duty materials, are a great preventative measure to keep off criminals who specifically target fleet vehicle.
- Removing valuable items that may be in the vehicle when not in use, or hiding them when in use will give criminals no reason to break into the fleet vehicles
- Direct drivers and the fleet crew to observe simple safety measures like always having the windows up and locking the doors even when leaving the car for a short moment
- Remove the key from the ignition when parked.
Installing Visible Deterrents on the Vehicle
This consists of installing barriers or preventive devices to discourage criminals and have them consider whether it is worthy to steal from the vehicle. You could make use of technology such as security lights, automated vehicle immobilization devices, signage, and steering wheel locking bars. Security lights are just blinking lights that pass information that your vehicle has a security alarm. Signage involves having a sign that informs potential thieves’ that your vehicle has sturdy integrated security to dissuade them. Immobilization devices include smart keys, fuse cut-offs, fuel disablers, and devices that kill switches, starter and ignition.
Another technology that is nowadays being used for fleet vehicle security is GPS. This is used to monitor the vehicle’s whereabouts or to check on drivers’ activities, but it can also be used as a security system to retrieve lost vehicles. It is good to note that GPS can be useful for tracking a stolen vehicle, but thieves can defeat it if they can trace where the communication device is installed by disabling it.
Reducing Visibility of Fleet Vehicles
Fleet vehicles are mainly prime targets because they can be easily identified due to branding on their body walls. Criminals can also estimate the worth of the carried merchandise by the writings on the vehicle. It would be advisable to avoid having fleet vehicles branded with the company’s logo, or have any writings or drawings whatsoever, making them easily identifiable. The company may lose on having vehicles promote its brands, but the higher risk that writings may pose is greatly reduced.