Apple Should have Five Minute Proofed those MacBooks

Apple Store BurglaryPolice in Marlton, New Jersey are looking for five suspects that broke into an Apple Store and made off with a few dozen Macbooks.

Click below to watch a news clip showing the brazen smash & grab that took just 31 seconds for the thieves to clean the store out of almost every display model.

Although the store had a Security Guard on duty, the crooks were able to smash the front glass doors and each took an ‘aisle’ in the store to grab every MacBook on display. Apparently, one of the crooks motioned to the Guard that he had a gun… forcing the Guard to back-off and not try to intervene at all.

As pointed out by the (incredibly annoying) reporter in the newsstory, the CCTV system in the store did not offer any deterrent value as the thieves simply covered their faces while they were in sight of the cameras.

Beyond the reminder that a CCTV system is not a deterrent, this smash & grab offers a few lessons:

1. You cannot make it physically impossible for someone to break in

If someone wants to try and break into your home or business, there is very little that you can do to make it physically impossible. If they want in, they’ll get in eventually. The trick is to put appropriate security measures in place that help make it easy for a potential burglar to make a decision not to bother with your place.

If you have a full-time security guard, extensive camera system or a big dog in your house, if a crook decides that he wants to try to get in anyways… he will. It’s the combination of the appropriate security measures that provide real security.

Your goal is to create enough perceived hassle for a crook that they make up their own mind that your store, or home, is not worth the effort.

2. Five-Minute Proofing is the most important security tactic

Five-Minute Proofing is the single most effective security tactic that you can implement in your home or business. Simply put, Five-Minute Proofing means that you ensure that, from the point at which the alarm is tripped, it would take a crook at least five minutes to get to what you are trying to protect.

In the case of this particular Apple Store, the store should have been equipped with glassbreak detectors near the front doors. More importantly, the glass panels themselves should have been laminated glass… or at least had security film on them, so that they wouldn’t smash so easily.

That way, when the crooks made their first attempt to smash the glass, the glassbreak detectors (if they were installed correctly) would hear the sound of the glass being attacked and trip the alarm. Alternatively, the camera system could have been set-up to trip an alarm due to someone standing at the front door for too long after-hours.

By designing the alarm to trip while the crooks are still outside, the Police could have been immediately called by the Security Guard to report what was happening and the alarm monitoring company would also be immediately able to assist. If the alarm monitoring company were monitoring the camera system, they could also relay the suspects exact descriptions, in real time, to the Police.

Beyond the front glass, there should be a second layer of physical security inside the store to help slow the crooks down. Expanding gates are often used for this purpose and are best installed several feet away from the front of the store. That way, if the crooks were able to eventually break through the glass to get in the store, they would then need to contend with getting around the expanding gates. Your security is in your redundancy.

Going a step further, each of the MacBooks could easily be locked down… not to make them impossible to steal, but ensuring that noone could simply grab a couple dozen of them in half a minute.

It’s not about making it physically impossible to get in… it’s about putting enough impediments into a potential crooks’ way that he is (or they are) unable to get to your valuables quickly.

If those three (the alarm, laminated glass and an expanding gate) Five Minute Proofing measures had been in place in this particular Apple Store, both the Security Guard and Alarm Monitoring company would have had a reasonable chance to call 911 and report a crime in progress.

The store would have had a damaged front door, but they would not have risked the safety of the security guard or had to worry about five crooks who learned how easy it is to break into their store and clean them out.

Click the video below to watch an excerpt from a recent ‘Preventing Burglary’ seminar where I explain Five Minute Proofing and give a few other examples.

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