To coin a phrase, Benjamin Franklin's quote tells us that the investment in preventive safety management saves money! The average cost due to theft at many carwashes is $25,000. 80% of that loss is damage to either the building or carwash equipment, not the loss of actual currency.
Most carwashes have a minimum $1,000 deductible which is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes this kind of loss. Consider, an important hidden cost is the decrease in volume due to the communities perception that your location is now unsafe. Finally add to that the increase in premium you will most likely experience on renewal from the insurance company. This incident has now resulted in a large out of pocket direct expense.
There are some very cost effective solutions to minimize these expenses to both you and your insurance company. One example is, for the cost of the average deductible, you can install shock and vibration sensors. These will be very effective if your wash has automated tellers. Many of the newer machines are equipped with these devices pre-installed, however, unfortunately most are not connected when setup. You can also retro fit machines that do not have sensor devices pre-installed. (Check out Safeco Alarms for more information.) If you have this exposure my advice is to at the least wire them to a local alarm. The majority of these types of thefts are spur of the moment looking for an easy target. A local siren or alarm eliminates that scenario. If possible I would also suggest tying it to a central station alarm if you have it. The local alarm prevents the immediate damage to the equipment while the central station will hopefully keep them from coming back at a later time. To help reduce the cost of this installation do your own wiring. Sensor applications could also be applied to change machines, vending machines and vacuums.
Other safety considerations would be; superior lighting, developing a rapport with the local police, video surveillance and plenty of security signage.
In these economic times more and more of these crimes are being committed. Even if you have not been effected by this yet the odds are sooner or later it could happen to you. Don't be a victim.
What really good things have you done at your wash to prevent crime?