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Area Businesses Have Been Recent Targets

In recent weeks Madison police have observed a significant increase in businesses burglaries across the city. In many cases criminals are targeting buildings with multiple offices, and they are taking cash, laptop computers, and other electronic devices (PDAs, cell phones, projectors). The crimes are generally occurring during hours of darkness. The crooks are gaining entry into buildings by smashing rocks, or other objects into glass windows and doors. The Madison Police Department has generated a list of crime prevention tips as part of its response to these crimes.


- Should be sufficient at entryways, parking lots, & walkways to see color, shape and facial features of people at a distance of 20 feet.
- Should not create shadows, or dark areas at doors, parking lots, or walkways.
- Should be properly maintained. Employees should know who is responsible for maintenance and what the procedure is for reporting problems.

Pedestrian Doors

- Should be solid core or steel.
- Should have a peephole.
- Should have security hinges if they are out swing doors.
- Should have polycarbonate or acrylic installed in window frame with reinforced edging
- Should have expanded steel wire mesh bolted over window frame with carriage bolts.
- Should have deadbolt locks with a minimum of a 1" hardened bolt and a 5-6-pin tumbler. A brass-revolving collar is advised for solid core or steel doors (out swing door lock latch bolts protected with the UL approved latch guards)
- Should have drop bolts, with top and bottom pins, if they are aluminum frame doors
- Should be free of all unnecessary handles or knobs that are not used for entry or exit on outside doors.

Overhead Doors

- Steel panel with solid core or solid wood.
- Secured in track or panels to prevent prying.
- Windows should have a minimum of ¼" polycarbonate or 3/8" acrylic in window with reinforced edging.
- Expanded steel wire mesh bolted over window frame with carriage bolts.


- Should be securely anchored in solid wood or metal frames.
- First floor windows should be secured by ¼" polycarbonate glazing or 3/8" acrylic glazing attached by through-the-frame screws OR security film over the glass.
- Any window not intended for ventilation or evacuation should be permanently sealed.
- Windows should be unobstructed to allow for unfettered visual observation, both in and out.

Other Openings

- Skylights, airshafts, vents, chutes (ex: coal) or airshafts should be permanently secured if unused.
- If they are used, install grates or padlocks with hasps so they can be secured when not it use.


- Minimum height of 8' with 9 gauge chain link to provide both security and visibility.
- Have a lockable gate made from similar material as the fence.
- Use UL approved locks.


- Planting around the building should not to exceed 3' in height (groundcover or spreading plants preferred).
- No vertical installations (trees, poles) within 6' of building.
- Tree canopies should be trimmed to 6'.
- Secure dumpsters, picnic tables, etc to eliminate portable means of accessing upper levels of building.
- Secure all outbuildings.

Parking Lots

- Clearly mark parking areas for customers, employees and delivery.
- No Parking in front of business doors to include loading docks.
- Lots should be free of obstruction and well lit.

Alarms and Camera Systems

- Install effective alarm systems from reputable alarm businesses.
- Install effective camera systems to create a permanent record of activity.

Safes or Vaults

- Only UL rated safe or vault should be used
- Safe or vault should be set in concrete and/or bolted to the floor.
- Consider alarming the vault or safe.
- Have security lighting illuminate the vault or safe.
- Make sure combinations are changed annually, or after employees have left the business
- Have a camera trained on the safe or vault.


- Record brand, model and serial numbers of electronics or other items.
- Have a photo diary of equipment.


  • Joel DeSpain, 608-266-4897