Good Buy

Spy Vs. Spy

Even if your business is profitable, you may be suffering losses--the kind that stem from crime. Such losses can destroy even the healthiest business, but fortunately, most are preventable.

Beverly Hills, California, security and investigative consultant John Dresden has operated Probe Inc. detective agency since 1974. Though Dresden carries an impressive array of security equipment at his 4-year-old Spy Tech Agency, he says, "There are protective measures you can take that don't require large cash outlays."

Start by enrolling in a crime prevention class for business that teaches you how to spot shoplifters, how to handle cash and more. Call your local Better Business Bureau or chamber of commerce for more information.

Good locks are a must to prevent burglaries, says Dresden; they should be rekeyed if you have employee turnover.

Mount a visible, realistic-looking dummy camera and post signs warning would-be offenders that the premises are protected by a security system and a neighborhood patrol.

Protect yourself from customer theft with prominently posted signs notifying shoplifters that you will prosecute. "These things seem trivial," says Dresden, "but they are inexpensive and effective."

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