Smash-and-Grab Robbers Hitting Power Equipment Stores

Tens of thousands of dollars in theft and damage; how one dealer is trying to protect himself.

As reported by NBC San Diego, a string of smash-and-grab robberies have been taking place in Southern California. Power equipment dealerships in Escondido, San Marcos, Poway, Moreno Valley and other towns have been hit. In fact, one dealer says his supplier reps have told him that nearly two-dozen stores stretching from San Diego up to Santa Monica have been targeted. Several stores are often hit on the same day.

The lawn and garden looters typically smash their truck rear first into the front of the store. They then run around grabbing as much handheld equipment as they can, piling it into the truck bed. Even cables locking the chainsaws, trimmers, blowers and other tools to shelving are often no match. The thieves come equipped with the necessary tools to cut straight through that cable.

One dealer said chainsaws are in especially high demand and will sell quickly on the black market.

The dealer also said he has taken some preventive measures to try and deter the brazen bandits. He has installed new outside lights and security cameras, along with steel-bar barricades. He has also moved inventory away from the windows and back into his service shop. That hasn’t made much of a difference so far. He got hit anyway—as the thieves understand there is valuable equipment inside and want to get their hands on it.