TOTAL CHAOS: Criminals are out there. How do safeguard against them? Can you protect your company and your employees from those who are motivated to steal from you?
Scenario 1: Yesterday I read a story about a limousine firm that got a very late night call to come and pick up a client at a party and take him home. The chauffeur showed up in an SUV and waited for the client. The client came out and approached the car. The chauffeur immediately got out and the client punched him in the face and stole the vehicle. He took off and wound up killing a woman when he crashed the vehicle into a bus stop.
Scenario 2: A different company books a pick up for midnight in an SUV to take clients out on the town. The chauffeur picks up the group. He takes them to the first stop of many. He waits until 4 a.m. and the clients never come out. The credit card they used turns out to be stolen and the people at home where they started have no idea who these people are that they were picked up outside of their house.
Scenario 3: A limousine driver leaves his vehicle running while he ran into the 7-11 to pick up ice. Before he gets to the freezer, a kid jumps into the limo and takes off with it. He then proceeds to commit two robberies. (You wonder about thieves who commit robberies using a limousine as a get away car. Do they really think this is going to work?)
All of these companies were legitimate operators that had safeguards in place to make sure that this sort of thing didn’t happen. That’s not to say there weren’t some employee mistakes that occurred in each of them. Taxi drivers have always had that fear element picking up people on the street. You never really saw that though with the limousine industry. Transportation is prearranged so that there is a level of comfort with the legitimacy of the business. Those who hire a chauffeured vehicle service tend to be of a different element then those picked up by the taxi driver on the street.
Scammers are everywhere. If you haven’t been taken before, at some point you will be. It is incomprehensible when you see the levels of creativity people use to commit crimes. That’s not saying that all criminals are smart. Certainly stealing a limousine or hiring one to rob a bank and use as the getaway car is not rocket science.
When I read these types of events it gives me cause to step back and questions what has happened to our society. Does an economic downturn cause people to take desperate measures regardless of the consequences? Will chauffeurs start rejecting jobs based on when and where the pick ups are because they are concerned for their own safety? The world is changing but not always for the better.
As technology gets more sophisticated, so do the criminals. Twenty years ago you would not have had any idea what identity theft was. Cyber attacks? Computer viruses?
I am interested in your thoughts on how to safeguard against the crooks among us and our businesses. I also want to hear about your anti-crime and anti-theft experiences and how you learned from them.
— Linda Moore, East Coast Editor
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