When Crime Comes to the Car Dealership
Employees who work at a vehicle showroom may expect hazards to come more likely from parking lot fender-benders than injuries received during a holdup, but that’s exactly what happened recently at a large showroom where the latest in luxury cars were on display. A young couple masquerading as potential buyers suddenly turned on the salesman who was preparing to take them on a test drive. The man shoved the salesman out of the passenger seat while the female held a gun on the salesman as the two got into an expensive SUV and sped off. The astonished salesman made an attempt to run after them, which was when the woman fired a shot at him, wounding him in the shoulder. Police and paramedics were on the scene just a few minutes later, and the shaken employee was taken to the hospital for his wound to be treated. Auto dealership insurance was in place to cover the loss of the SUV and the damage sustained to two other vehicles that were sideswiped as the bandits drove away, and the employee was covered by the company’s workers compensation coverage because his injuries were sustained while he was on the job. However, the entire staff learned a valuable lesson that day about what to do, or not do, should they find themselves face to face with criminals intent on robbing the business.
Remain as calm as possible. Doing so will not only help limit the tension of the situation (and help reduce the possibility of getting hurt), it will help you observe and retain information about the criminals that can later prove important in finding the perpetrators.
Don’t be a hero. The situation is likely to escalate if you resist or try to struggle with the robbers.
Trigger the alarm-possibly. If there is a burglar alarm on site, activate it only if you are able to do so unobtrusively.
Call the authorities. As soon as the robbers make a getaway, gather coworkers and management and go to a secure location in the building, lock the door, and contact the police by dialing 911. Write down details of the incident before they’re forgotten.
Shutter the business until further notice to aid the police in preserving evidence at the scene of the crime.
Collect names and phone numbers of any witnesses who don’t wish to wait for the police to get there, as well as surveillance video footage or pictures to provide to the police.
Call your insurance agent. Your professional agent can provide you with guidance (such as arranging for employee counseling to deal with trauma) and support to help employees overcome the trauma of the event, as well as begin the auto dealership insurance claims process. Contact your agent today to learn more.