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The City of Portland, Oregon

Community & Civic Life

Promote the common good

Main: 503-823-4519

City/County Info: 503-823-4000

TDD: 503-823-6868

1221 SW 4th Ave, Suite 110, Portland, OR 97204

Car Prowl Prevention for Businesses

Cars in a parking lot

When an employee’s car is broken into, it impacts your organization. It may leave employees feeling concerned about safety. Taking steps to address vulnerabilities on your property and provide car prowl prevention information to coworkers can help reduce criminal activity and alleviate concerns. 

One prolific car prowler stated that if he looked into vehicles and saw nothing worth stealing in them, he would move on to another neighborhood. What is considered valuable is subjective. A gym bag filled with dirty exercise clothes may not be considered valuable to its owner, but a thief may believe that there is an electronic device in the bag. A window may be broken to access coins that are in view or to look for a smartphone in the console because the phone’s accessory is visible and it’s presumed to be left in the vehicle. When employees lock and keep their vehicles show-room clean with nothing in them, including personal information that can be used for identity theft, the thief will likely move on.

Increasing the visibility of your parking lots improves the security of your property. A criminal does not want to be apprehended. If his or her activities can be easily observed, then there is a greater risk of being caught. Make sure that employees can observe activity from the inside of the business out to the parking lot. Ideally passersby can view the area from the street and sidewalk. Prune bushes and trees, remove impediments to sightlines, install security cameras and improve lighting to maximize visibility.  

 For additional prevention tips, check out:

If an employee’s car is broken into, it’s prudent to relay the incident to other employees along with car prowl prevention advice so that everyone can step up their security measures and be vigilant over suspicious activity. Altering the physical space as well as habits can go a long way to improving overall security.