How To Cater Your Security System To Different Types Of Criminals

Just as there are many different kinds of business security systems, so too are there different kinds of criminals. Though there are hundreds of ways a thief might approach a target, their strategies can all roughly be drawn into one of three categories:

  • Opportunistic
  • Smash & Grab
  • Sophisticated

We’ll discuss these different kinds of thieves and highlight business security solutions you can take advantage of to stop them from doing you harm.


Opportunistic Burglars

By far the most common type of thief and the least likely to become violent, the opportunistic burglar is primarily looking for an easy target. This is the kind of thief that would pull a $20 bill out of your pocket if they thought it was easy or sneak a chocolate bar into their pocket at the store. Consequently, they pose the least financial danger to your business out of the three.

Though anyone can be a thief, opportunistic burglars are the most diverse. You can find them in all walks of life and any age or gender. It’s widespread enough that the term “kleptomania” was coined, declaring it a mental illness that can be treated. This is just to say that someone’s appearance shouldn’t fool you if you suspect them of stealing.


There are differing reasons for why people shoplift, but they all try their best to not draw attention to themselves. Shoplifters must be active during operating hours due to the nature of their crime, and the products these thieves are likely to steal are low-value items like food or clothes. If given the opportunity, the professional ones will absolutely take expensive jewelry or electronics.

Pick Pockets

Due to taking a higher level of finesse, pickpockets are less common than shoplifters. They’re primarily interested in cash and are more likely to steal from your customers than you. Still, just because it’s not your property they’re stealing doesn’t mean those unhappy customers won’t place some of the blame on you. They were robbed at your store, after all.

How to Stop them

  • Commercial Security Cameras (Visible)
  • Access Control Systems

The best way to stop an opportunistic thief from striking is to utilize commercial security systems to make the crime too difficult or risky. Visible cameras convey to thieves that they’re being watched, and stealing is hard when there’s an eye constantly watching over you.

Secondly, utilize an access control system to lock up your high-value goods, like tech or jewelry. The last thing an opportunistic thief will do is make a scene by smashing open a case. That’s more in line with our second group of criminals.


In & Out Criminals

More violent, calculated, and prone to expensive damages, in & out criminals are thankfully rare in the crime world. While you’re unlikely to come across these thieves, we always suggest that you prepare for them, as their presence at your business could financially devastate you.

There are two ways to describe how these thieves operate; fast-paced and with an explosive entrance.

Smash & Grabbers

Smash and grab robberies happen almost exclusively during the night. These criminals will use a brick or other heavy object to force their way inside your business. Because the break-in is loud and draws attention, they’re quick to run in and grab what they want before leaving, hence the name.

Some criminals will go even further and use their own car as a battering ram to quickly break through your business’ entrance and provide a fast getaway option. Without the proper access control system in place, this will mean thousands of dollars in repairs and possibly closing your business for the duration.

Armed Robbers

While different in their approach, they’re similar in their core methods. The objective of an armed robber is to make a scene, take money from the till, and leave quickly. While causing less physical damage than smash & grabbers, they hold a very real threat in their hand. Your customers will never forget what may easily be a traumatic experience for them, which will attach itself to your business like a shadow.

How to Stop them

  • Commercial Security Cameras (Visible/Hidden/Outside)
  • Access Controls
  • Roll-Down Gate
  • Electric Door Lock

Just as before, dissuading is the name of the game here, but there are a couple of other commercial security systems here to help you catch these kinds of thieves if they strike.

To start, you need commercial security cameras, both visible and hidden. The smash & grabbers don’t care whether a camera is on them or not; they’re just trying to get in and out ASAP. Armed robbers might try to disable visible cameras, however. By keeping additional hidden cameras, you can retain visual evidence of the criminals and catch them if they make any mistakes. In addition, outside parking lot cameras are a great way to get a better visual of the criminal’s car for you to show authorities later.

A series of access controls will serve you well against these criminals. Because they’re looking to move as fast as possible, every additional barrier like security cases will make them more anxious and ready to run.

In the case of entrance security systems, you have two tools that would serve you well. The first is a roll-down gate. If a thief is feeling tempted to use their car as a ram, putting up a metal gate every night will ruin their attempts to break into your business, saving you thousands in repair costs and potential stolen merchandise. The second is an automatic door lock. If you see someone with a gun making their way to your front door, having a button by the cash register you can click to automatically lock the door will stop them before they can do any harm.


Sophisticated Criminals

Sophisticated criminals are the kind you mostly see in movies rather than in real life. These are your types that plan heists using intelligent machinery or software to take what they want. While they absolutely exist, these are the rarest of criminals by far. Unless you’re carrying precious goods like fine jewelry or banknotes, they won’t consider you a target.

Because their methods vary so intensely, these are the hardest criminals to pin down into a few categories because the only thing that links them is their quality of equipment and intelligence. That’s why they’re the rarest; most normal people with these qualities would just become masters in a professional field.

How to Stop them

  • Emergency Power Generator
  • Silent Alarm Systems
  • Commercial Security Cameras (Hidden)
  • 24/7 Monitoring

The strategy to stop criminals of this magnitude is almost the same as the others. You need to make the task of successfully robbing your business too challenging to consider, but with an added safety net to account for their tenacity. You don’t have to worry about a smash & grab criminal cutting the power to your building or finding a way to trick your alarm system, but that’s a real possibility here.

The trick is redundancy. By installing a backup power generator in your building, you can keep your alarm system operational even if the main power line is cut. Due to the complexity of the job you’ve given them, these criminals will be moving more methodically, making a silent alarm the better option since they’ll likely still be on the premises when the police arrive.

Any skilled thief worth their salt will have scoped the location out first, so they’ll know where all your visible video surveillance is and work to either avoid or disable them. That’s why it’s good to include additional hidden cameras in the building. If they don’t know they exist, you can catch them in the act to provide further proof in court.

Finally, if you’re carrying valuable goods, one of the best business security systems to invest in is 24/7 monitoring. With an extra set of eyes using remote access to watch your business, you drastically increase the chances of these intruders failing. A remote security team will notice when something is wrong with the alarm and call the authorities should all the automatic options fail.


Millennium Knows the Criminal Mind Inside and Out

Millennium Fire & Security has kept businesses in the Central Florida region safe for over 15 years. Commercial door locks, security sensors, video surveillance, and more, we provide and install the best business security systems around.

By hiring a local security provider, you know you’re receiving specialized treatment. We approach every customer’s business or home as an individual project and create a customized security system to build a defense that’s as effective as possible. Whether you’re most at risk from shoplifters or a jewelry heist, we’ll specialize your defense to combat any threat.


Don’t settle on your business’ safety! Contact Millennium Fire & Security today and receive the best security system for you!

You can reach us by calling our offices at (407) 974-7895 or visiting ourĀ website.