Security tips for businesses to prevent looting, robberies during coronavirus closures

With a large number of coronavirus-related business closures and reduced hours, Minneapolis police are increasing patrols throughout the city and sending a security bulletin with tips for closed business and restaurants adapting to takeout and delivery.

Last week, Governor Tim Walz ordered the temporary closure of thousands of businesses, including restaurants, bars, salons and more. The order is scheduled to end on March 27, but could be extended.

Officials with Minneapolis police sent out an email with security tips for business owners and managers.

Tip for closed businesses: 

  • Review your security plans.
  • Remove all cash from the business leaving cash drawers open and empty. 
  • Remove or secure items, especially those that can be seen and then grabbed by smashing an exterior window.
  • Lock up liquor. 
  • Check your security system is operational and accessible. Arm it every time someone is not present.      
  • Check to make sure security cameras are working and aimed at the right locations to capture suspicious activity and suspects’ faces.

Tips for businesses with reduced hours or take-out/delivery operations:

  • Review your security and staffing plans to ensure a sufficient number of employees are on site.
  • Review plans for limiting opportunities for crime and insure staff know your procedures for robbery and theft incidents.
  • Review your policies for cash on hand.
  • Control access to the establishment for customers coming in for pickups; maintain safe spacing of at least six feet between people.   
  • Lock all doors that are not being used for the operation of your limited business.
  • Secure access to non-public areas, bathrooms and storage rooms.
  • Train staff to be observant and report suspicious people within or around your business
  • Check to make sure security cameras are working and aimed at the right locations to capture suspicious activity and suspects’ faces.
  • If you are using delivery drivers, review safety plans with drivers. Remind them to be vigilant if approached by a stranger on the street. They should never leave the keys in their car and never leave the car running while making the delivery.