OPP offers tips for businesses forced to close due to pandemic

ORILLIA – The province has ordered the two-week closure of businesses deemed “non-essential” or “at-risk.”

OPP West Region offers the following tips for business owners impacted by the closures, in an effort to ensure property is less attractive to thieves:

– remove all valuables from storefront displays;

– remove all cash from tills and leave open with the cash tray out and visibly empty;

– ensure alarm systems are working and all contact lists are up-to-date;

– post on doors/windows that the premises are monitored by an alarm company and that no money is kept on the premises. Include the 1-888-310-1122 number to call the OPP should anyone notice a break-in or damage;

– clean all windows and floors prior to leaving and note when you’ve done so (have a log) as this will help investigators should there be a break-in;

– consider a surveillance system which can be monitored remotely by phone/online;

– consider putting a laminate on all windows/glass to discourage and help prevent easy entry;

– keep some lighting on inside to help with video surveillance and consider lighting on timers if possible;

– ensure all doors and windows are locked and secure;

– ensure all exterior lighting is functioning and on (consider motion sensor lights as another option);

– remove anything on the exterior which could be used to gain entry to your premises (bricks, ladders, poles, construction materials);

– regularly check the building and keep track of when you check (have a log) – but go at different times; and

– like your home, if it looks cared for and looks like someone is around regularly, thieves will likely move on to other locations.

Police are asking anyone who sees something suspicious at a business that is closed, or at homes where people aren’t around, to call the OPP at 1-888-310-1122. If it’s not a crime in progress, make a report online at www.opp.ca.