An Inside Look at Impound Yard Security & Surveillance

Impound lots should be safe havens for vehicles and people. But bad things can happen with substandard security and surveillance.

Key Takeaways:

  • Vehicle thefts are rising in many states, putting impound lots in the crosshairs.
  • Criminals know there’s usually always some valuable part to salvage regardless of a vehicle’s condition.
  • Mobile security units can cover critical areas day and night to reduce crime and its impacts.

Impound yards serve multiple sectors, ranging from law enforcement agencies holding vehicles on legal grounds to businesses storing them for auction or preparing them for scrap. Whatever the application, these yards can be targets for thieves and vandals.

This guide looks at the risks and why installing a high-quality video surveillance package is an essential security step in all cases.

The need for impound yard security

Impound lot surveillance is a must for an obvious reason: lots hold valuable vehicles, often many of them. This fact is enough to drive them to the top of most criminals’ target lists, especially as multiple states are now seeing vehicle thefts and break-ins soar. Thieves may attempt to steal entire cars or strip them for parts, and recovering stolen goods can be difficult either way.

In addition, some disgruntled vehicle owners decide to disregard the law and hop a fence to avoid rapidly accumulating storage fees. And vehicles under police investigation, typically held for much longer periods, might even contain incriminating evidence that the owner may be desperate to retrieve.

Even scrap yards aren’t immune to break-ins. There’s always something valuable in the many components of a vehicle that thieves can rip off and sell. This report from New Jersey is typical of many attacks across the country in 2022; the perpetrators stole cars’ catalytic convertors during the peak crime hours between 6 pm and 6 am. 

These scenarios could lead to someone breaking into a yard and doing whatever it takes — including harming anyone who gets in their way — to strip or reclaim a legally retained vehicle. 

The compound costs of poor impound lot surveillance

It goes without saying that unsecured lots will lose profits as thieves or disgruntled owners make off with vehicles or parts. But any site operating in tandem with law enforcement could also lose out on future contracts while suffering reputational damage and possible legal liability for not securing their property.

Another likely expense is increased insurance premiums after policy providers learn that a site is more of a liability than they assumed. Loss or damage claims may be rejected entirely if an insurer is unsatisfied with pre-existing security precautions. And even if the claim is paid, a rate hike is likely without positive changes in the security system.

Then there’s the human element. Yard workers or onsite security guards could be attacked, hurt, or even killed during a break-in. The results may be the employer’s liability, adding employee medical expenses, lost wages, funeral expenses, and lawsuits on top of lost profits.

Video surveillance is effective for impound yards

The vulnerability of some impound yard thefts lies in the fact a thief often steals a very large and powerful escape tool. An expensive gate or fence certainly helps prevent individuals from entering on foot, but it may not stop someone who just stole a vehicle from driving right through it

Fortunately, flexible and versatile surveillance can be added to any facility, anywhere, deterring intruders while they’re on foot or helping track them down if they make off with stolen goods.

The team at Mobile Video Guard consists of trained surveillance agents who provide 24/7 security while saving a significant amount of money compared with onsite guards. We continually monitor impound lots, and agents can actively and directly address suspicious parties via loudspeakers and police-style strobe lighting. Often, this is enough to deter any intruders or would-be intruders. But if it’s not, you can rest assured agents will alert local authorities as the situation requires.

We also provide a long-range intrusion detection option, which can be invaluable in seeing small details over great distances, such as license plates of getaway vehicles and/or stolen lot vehicles. Thieves may ram the gate and “escape” — but not before surveillance gathers details that can help the police catch them quickly.

Speak to surveillance experts with any questions

Mobile Video Guard can have surveillance ready to go in under 24 hours for most sites — you’re only a day away from the right security system. Our expert team will provide a personalized site plan that positions your cameras for optimal performance. Contact Mobile Video Guard today to learn more!

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