How to Prevent or Reduce Theft in Your Organization

Posted in: Commercial Insurance, COVID-19

With many businesses closing or switching to remote work due to current events, many buildings and storage yards are unattended. Aside from installing or reactivating central station monitored alarm systems, here are ways you can keep your business safe from theft.

General and Storage Yards:

  1. Provide fencing with suitable locks. Avoid privacy fences and large bushes; this just gives thieves cover to work.
  2. Add or reactivate continuous loop recorded video cameras.
  3. Add signs along the fence line indicating 24-hr. video surveillance in place.
  4. Keep the yards well-lit with always on or motion activated lights.
  5. If a high concentration of values is at one yard, consider an overnight guard. IF armed, be sure to check with your Account Executive for liability/coverage issues.
  6. If possible, position trailers so the doors face the street side.
  7. Inform the police of any issues and request additional patrols.
  8. Consider rearranging pallets of materials around inside perimeter of the fence to provide an additional barrier.
  9. Park vehicles or equipment to block entrances of storage yards at night. However, consider how emergency responders could enter if needed.
  10. Some statistics show up to 75% of employees have admitted stealing from their employers. Other studies show equipment thefts are anywhere from 30% to 85% inside jobs. Are you doing criminal background checks and drug screens?


As illustrated in this photo, a thief attacked the weakest point of the trailer, which was the hasp:

trailer lock

It does not matter how strong the lock is, if the hasp is easy to cut:

1. Purchase locks that protect the hasp. Below is an example:

trailer lock 2

2. Consider trailer alarms.
3. Consider trailer hitch locks and wheel boots to prevent the theft of the entire trailer.

trailer lock 3


  1. Etch tools with unique identifiers and labels.
  2. Run long cables through all the equipment in the trailer each night. Once they get into the trailer, they would still have to cut the cables. At that point, they may give up.
  3. Always lock your vehicles, even if you are working nearby.
  4. Re-key high-value equipment. Almost all equipment is sold with generic keys that can be obtained easily by thieves. Another option is to install a keyless ignition device that requires a passcode.
  5. Install a GPS tracking device on valuable large equipment.
  6. If you have to leave equipment unattended for long periods of time, consider removing vehicle batteries and/or wheels.
  7. Whenever possible, store equipment inside a building. This may mean taking it out of the trailer or sometimes the trailers can be parked in a building.
  8. If you have to leave equipment in a vehicle, try to strategically park your truck or trailer to make it harder to access the equipment.
  9. Mark or paint your equipment with distinctive colors. One contractor painted their heavy equipment bright pink, never had another one stolen.
  10. If smaller pieces such as generators or compressors have to be left unattended on site, consider leaving them close together inside a ring of larger equipment. This type of “wagon wheel” configuration makes the equipment less accessible and more difficult to remove.
  11. Consider registering your equipment. One site is
  12. Ultimately the effectiveness of most if not all anti-theft precautions depends on how well they are used and followed. Training your employees in theft prevention best practices is critical.
  13. Put your own decals/identifying markers on your equipment. Make it noticeable and difficult to remove. Alternatively, use a STOLEN FROM tag. The harder it will be for a criminal to turn around and sell your equipment, the less likely they will target your equipment.

property stickers

For more information on how to secure your business, or if you believe your building or storage yard has been compromised, please don’t hesitate to contact your designated PSA team member or reach out to me at for more information.

Need more COVID-19 resources?

Go back to COVID-19 Resources