Written By: Brad Campbell | April 21, 2023
According to statistics, there were nearly 40,000 robberies perpetrated with a handgun in 2021, and almost 10,000 perpetrated with a knife or another cutting instrument.
Many such armed robberies target small businesses, putting employees in the way of harm and resulting in thousands of dollars lost in cash and merchandise.
There are certain high-risk businesses that are more likely to be the targets of armed robbery, not to mention burglary, smash-and-grab theft, rioting, and looting.
These types of businesses stand to benefit from the use of bulletproof glass for business protection, which provides the highest level of forced entry protection and protects workers from physical harm.
Despite how often the term “bulletproof glass” is used, it’s important to understand that there is no such thing as glass (or any type of material) that is completely bulletproof.
A more accurate term to use to describe materials that can stop bullets is “bullet resistant” — they can stop a certain number and type of rounds, but they can eventually be penetrated.
There are many types of bulletproof glazing (glass and glass-like materials) that businesses can use to provide high levels of protection against ballistic attacks and forced entry, including laminated security glass, polycarbonate security glazing, and glass-clad polycarbonate (GCP).
For example, Riot Glass, LLC offers ballistic-grade glazing similar to polycarbonate and GCP ballistic glazing, but that use specific formulations of polycarbonates, acrylics, laminated security glass, and other plastics that outperform and outlast similar materials.
Any type of business that wants to protect itself against forced entry, burglary, smash-and-grab theft, rioting and looting, vandalism, and other threats can benefit from using bullet-resistant security glazing to provide the highest level of glass security.
However, there are certain types of high-risk businesses that are most at risk of armed robbery and other types of theft. These include:
These types of high-risk businesses are known by criminals to have large quantities of cash and expensive merchandise on hand, and are therefore favorite targets for all types of theft, including violent armed robbery.
24-hour convenience stores, including gas station-convenience store combos, mini-marts, liquor stores, and other similar businesses, are very at risk when it comes to robbery because of the reduced foot traffic and visibility at night.
Criminals also know that these retailers conduct lots of cash transactions throughout the day, so they’re likely to have large amounts of cash on hand at night.
By their very nature, check-cashing businesses are required to keep lots of cash on hand to be able to cash peoples’ checks.
These businesses are also often located in higher crime neighborhoods, and are therefore often targeted by criminals for robbery.
Pawn shops have both cash and expensive items, such as jewelry, gold, silver, and other high-value and luxury goods on hand, so criminals often look to pawn shops when choosing their targets.
With the spread of legal cannabis dispensaries in many states, we’ve seen a surge in robberies at licensed cannabis shops.
Since the sale of cannabis is still illegal at a federal level, most cannabis retailers are cash-only businesses, so they have plenty of cash on hand at all times.
Criminals that target cannabis stores can also steal thousands of dollars worth of marijuana and related products, which they can easily resell on the black market for additional illicit profits.
In some states, there’s evidence of coordinated armed robberies of multiple cannabis stores at once.
Many of these robberies have been quite violent, entailing pistol whippings, gunshots, and even killings.
Currently, legal medical and recreational cannabis dispensaries are one of the highest risk businesses out there when it comes to violent robbery.
With all their expensive jewelry and large sums of cash readily available, it goes without saying that jewelry stores are another favorite target of criminals.
Because they have so much valuable merchandise on display in store windows, jewelry stores are often hit by organized smash-and-grab thefts, as well as burglary, armed robbery, and other types of theft.
There are three main ways to use bullet-resistant glazing for business protection in high-risk retail locations:
Storefront windows made from annealed glass or tempered safety glass are incredibly vulnerable to forced entry, burglary, smash-and-grab theft, rioting, and looting.
All it takes is a couple of well-placed blows from a sledgehammer, a pry bar, a bat, or another common burglary tool to make an unprotected storefront window shatter or crumble, and the criminals can then step right in and take what they want.
Bullet-resistant storefront glazing is strong enough to stop bullets, so these types of forced entry attempts will simply bounce right off.
Bulletproof business glass can also be used to build the strongest display cases possible, ideal for protecting jewelry and other high-value luxury items.
Again, since it’s strong enough to stop bullets, even the most determined smash-and-grab attempts will be foiled by display cases made from bullet-resistant security glazing.
Wherever armed robbery is a concern, we recommend constructing bullet-resistant transaction windows and booths at points of sale to protect employees from physical harm and prevent criminals from accessing cash.
Bullet-resistant glazing with just a UL 752 Level 1 ballistic resistance rating can stop three or more rounds from a 9mm handgun, one of the most common types of firearms used in robberies.
In the event of a violent armed robbery, this gives workers time to take cover and hit a panic button or call 911. They can then wait in relative safety until the authorities arrive and arrest or neutralize the attackers.
Bulletproof glass for businesses does the one thing that cameras, alarms, and other components of a business security system don’t do: provide physical protection against forced entry and violent attacks.
For high-risk businesses, implementing bullet-resistant glazing in the ways discussed above is the best way to protect employees from physical harm and mitigate the financial risks of all types of theft.
Riot Glass, LLC is committed to protecting all businesses against the full range of security threats they face. Contact us today for a free consultation.
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