In an effort to help local business people protect themselves from thieves, the Hannibal Area Chamber of Commerce hosted a theft prevention seminar last week.
In an effort to help local business people protect themselves from thieves, the Hannibal Area Chamber of Commerce hosted a theft prevention seminar earlier this week. The event was conducted by Cpl. Jonathan Borgmeyer of the Police Department.
Thursday’s seminar was not the first of its kind provided by HPD.
“The Hannibal Police Department commonly does public service/awareness speaking engagements when requested,” said Lt. Kathy Davis of HPD. “They are over a variety of topics ranging from theft such as this one or fraud, workplace violence, drug awareness, to bicycle safety and many other topics.”
According to Davis, this week’s seminar was “geared around shoplifting as well as employee theft” as well as “what to do if you catch someone stealing from you.”
Much of what a business owner can do to protect himself or herself is not rocket science.
“A lot of what we teach is commonsense,” said Davis. “It may be product placement to help deter shoplifting. This may relate to where in the store the item is kept to discourage things from being taken; for example, high price, small items near a door or in a location not readily observable to employees.
“In regard to employee theft are things such as the installation of cameras in the business, and the importance of counting cash drawers before and after shifts, etc.”
Are such crimes a significant problem for business owners in Hannibal?
“Although theft from businesses is a problem in Hannibal, I am not sure it is a major problem or anything any more significant than any other community endures,” said Davis.
Conducting seminars such as Thursday’s is an opportunity for HPD to build a relationship with the residents in the community, according to Davis.
“A significant part of the community service officer position is public speaking. We are asked numerous times a year to do things such as this,” she said. “Community awareness is always an asset to the police. Sometimes the public can pick up a lot of good information from these speaking engagements. As always our goal is for the public to not be victimized by crime. We can offer good pointers on self awareness to help avoid crime as well as being a good witness if they are a victim of a crime.”