El Paso Police release tips for prevention of ‘Smash and Grab’ robberies

El Paso News

FILE – Police officers and emergency crews park outside the Louis Vuitton store in San Francisco’s Union Square on Nov. 21, 2021, after looters ransacked businesses. Groups of thieves, some carrying crowbars and hammers, smashed glass cases and window displays, ransacking high-end stores throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, stealing jewelry, sunglasses, suitcases and other merchandise before fleeing in waiting cars during a weekend of brazen organized theft that shocked holiday shoppers and prompted concerns about the busy retail season. (Danielle Echeverria/San Francisco Chronicle via AP, File)

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – With the increase of “Smash-and-Grab” robberies nationwide, officials with the El Paso Police Department released tips for local retailers to deter or prevent this type of crime.

Nationally, large, coordinated groups are forcing their way into a store, filling their arms or bags with merchandise, and running out to escape, usually in waiting vehicles…Retailers should be aware and prepared to deter or prevent this type of crime.


Police say that while no system is fool proof, below are some tips to make your business less appealing for Smash and Grab.

  • Use a video surveillance system that has both overt and concealed cameras. Post signs announcing that you have a surveillance system recording images 24 hours a day, with footage monitored and stored off-site.
  • Evaluate placement of cameras for best vantage points most likely to capture quality picture/video images. Some preferable areas for camera placement should be at locations able to capture the best images at entrances/exits and parking areas.
  • Place high value, or easily concealable products away from entrances/exits.
  • Consider installing roll-down gates, which can be quickly deployed or burglary-resistant glass for your showcase sides, fronts, and tops.
  • Have a visible employee presence on the sales floor at all times and acknowledge individuals entering when practical. Never engage an offender in a confrontation.

EPPD officials added that local businesses can contact their regional command to request a PAR officer to survey in place security measures and recommend safety tips specific to your store.

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