A publication of the Cedar Mill Business Association
Volume 1, Issue 5


May 2003

Preventing Business Burglary

Business will always be a target for burglary. As long as there are people who want a quick buck, businesses must take precautions to protect their stores and offices. We asked Mary Nunnenberg, Washington County Sheriff’s Office Crime Prevention Officer from the East Precinct, what business people can do to prevent burglary.

Q: What are some of the best things a business owner can do to protect themselves?

A: Proper lighting. Lighting that allows deputies to see inside the building -- all the way to the back of the shop-- is the most effective. Lights that face the street or parking lot can cause deputies’ vision to be impaired.

Do not leave valuables out in plain view. Never leave cash in the shop over night.

Q: Are there any patterns of burglary going on that we should know about?

A: In the last several weeks, two beauty parlors in the area of Cornell and Saltzman were burglarized. The suspect(s) are taking beauty products and cash. Entry was gained by breaking locks. Store owners may want to consult a locksmith to enhance their security.

Q: What help does the sheriff’s dept. offer to businesses? Is there such a thing as a safety audit?

If store owners would like a security assessment they can call me (MaryNunnenkamp, Crime Prevention Officer) at 503-846-5930.

Businesses should start a business watch. The concept of Business Watch is similar to that of Neighborhood Watch. Basically, more eyes are watching out for each other. Owners and staff are trained on how to respond to situations involving their business. For more information on Business Watch call Mary.

Q: Do alarms help? What is the best value in an alarm system (what type of system works best for the money?)

A: I am not permitted to endorse or not endorse alarms. Store owners may want to talk with other shop owners to determine the alarm company they use. Shop owners may also want to discuss the use of cameras.

Another option for research is private security. Again, I am not permitted to endorse or not endorse private security.

Q: What are the particular vulnerabilities for small businesses? How can they be improved?

A: It can be an additional risk for a small business to have only one employee on duty at a time. Additional measures should be taken to enhance employees’ safety.

So improve the lighting in your shop, get to know your neighboring businesses, and take your money home at night!

Come to our meeting on May 19 to meet Mary in person and ask her your own questions.