On March 15, 2012 an armed, bogus security guard stormed a woman’s Burbank, California home and robbed her at knifepoint. Unfortunately, incidents like this are on the rise across the country and around the world.
Criminals will dress up as a police officer or security guard in order to gain trust and assert police-like authority with the intent to commit a crime. The increase in crimes executed by individuals dressed as security guards include:
- Home Invasion- followed by theft and sometimes assault
- Theft and Grand Theft Auto- approaching a victim, explaining that an item or a vehicle is stolen and stealing it
- Armed Robbery- following a traffic stop
- Kidnapping- Using fake credentials, flashing “police” lights and weapons
- Fake Armored Car Guards- stealing large cash deposits from retailers, banks & check cashing stores
With these crimes on the rise, it is important to raise awareness among individuals, business owners, and within the security industry. We can all do a better job of being aware of, and reporting suspicious activities and individuals who seem out of place.
As a member of the electronic security industry, ASI recognizes the importance of video surveillance to capture evidence of criminals and their vehicle information. Burglar alarms or access control systems can also help reduce or prevent invasions. But most important, business owners and Board of Directors need to ensure they have solid, well thought-out Security Policies in place to best address all likely security risks including impersonators and their ever improving methods.
Bottom line, don’t assume someone is dressed in a uniform is legit. Ask for identification and confirm it is valid. When in doubt always call law enforcement.