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Old September 22, 2005, 10:15 PM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: December 18, 2004
Posts: 1,935
neighborhood going downhill

I suppose this is more of a crime prevention question than tactics, but I can't think of any other forum where my question could be answered by more qualified people than the members of TFL.

My dad and his boss work a two-man shop in a little industrial plaza in an area with low rent residential properties. Increasingly, there have been problems with loitering, littering, basically people hanging out drinking where they shouldn't be at night. Sheriff's deputy says there's nothing they can do about that.

Recently, it seems conditions are worsening. My dad pointed out piles of beer bottles littering the property. Literally hundreds of bottles on the property on the end next to an empty lot. They have found men passed out drunk on the property in the morning. More recently, someone found a stolen wallet in the dumpster.

This morning when they showed up to open, there was a fresh (still wet) puddle of blood in the parking lot and a trail leading between the two buildings and then out the other side on the next street.

Sounds to me like there's an increasing probability of a burglary at night. Possibly even an opening time robbery, or, more of a concern, someone being hurt for simply showing up for work a little early.

I'm probably sticking my nose in where it doesn't belong, but my question is what can be done to keep the criminal element out of this place? The shop has a burglar alarm. However, it's an auto shop- a thief could empty $40,000 in an employee's tools in less than a minute. Even if an alarm or camera caught a burglary, the cops could take a report, but dad's stuff would still be gone. A fence maybe? But with 9 or 10 businesses with heavy traffic on a tiny lot with 2 entrances, I'm not sure how feasible that really is. A night security guard on the premises would be safest, but figuring roughly, each tenant would pay another 50-75% in rent to pay for it. Lights? There is a large area between the two rows of shops not visible to the street. Besides, who would notice one guy knocking down a door when there are so many people travelling through the parking lot?

Any suggestions?
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