A surge of organized retail robberies done by gangs of thieves who often ransack stores for merchandise worth thousands of dollars in just a few minutes have forced businesses to increase demand for private protection during the holiday season, per a security executive.
Allied Universal, which provides security technology and personnel for several industries, including retail stores and malls, said that businesses are trying to keep up with the wave of thefts as the holiday season passes by. This is according to Brian Neimeyer, the senior vice president of Allied Universal’s retail division.
“The demand for our services is absolutely up,” Neimeyer told Fox News without sharing any specific information. “We are staffed up above our normal deployment for the holidays and in response to the smash and grabs we have seen an increase for an even added presence.”
Videos on social media and widespread media coverage put a spotlight on the risk taken by groups of robbers that have been seen cleaning the shelves of stores for jewelry, luxury products, and other items in the last few months. Most of the time, they intend to resell the goods. The cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco have been hit hard by these instances.
One incident saw a Nordstrom branch in the Bay Area stripped off of $200,000 worth of goods. Meanwhile, a security guard in a Los Angeles mall store was attacked with bear spray by the thieves in another incident..
In one incident, a Nordstrom in the Bay Area was taken for more than $200,000 in goods. A mall store security guard in Los Angeles was attacked with bear spray in another.
Now, Authorities have been using high-resolution cameras to try and fight these types of robberies. The video cameras can record whatever is happening inside stores and in parking lots. They can also record license plate numbers, according to Neimeyer. Law enforcement have also been monitoring social media platforms where a lot of these smash-and-grab robberies are being organized.
According to Neimeyer, some of their clients have requested their services to observe media or the dark web for any threat that could impact their business operation.s
According to the National Retail Federation, apart from L.A. and San Francisco, the cities of Chicago, Miami, and New York are some of the most impacted by this type of crime.
Neimeyer further stated that Allied has noticed an influx in demand for security services coming from several retail markets where the businesses are trying to fight off large-scale robberies.
“Retailers, business owners, shopping mall owners and operators want an increased presence that they know they can’t rely on the police to provide,” he said. “Stores, especially luxury stores, have an investment to protect, so they’re willing to make investments in security to try and reduce thefts,” he went on to say.