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Workplace Burglaries Up in Down Economy

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By Kamika Dunlap on November 23, 2009 1:10 PM

In the down economy, stick-ups and burglaries at work are on the rise.

Many thieves have become more brazen in their attempts at high stakes burglaries. 

They have now set their sights on stealing from corporate offices and workplaces, instead of residential burglary or robbing convenience stores.

A recent Wall Street Journal article examines how the down economy has driven people to desperate measures including robbers infiltrating corporate offices.

At first glance office thieves may be hard to detect. In most cases, intruders enter a building during normal business hours.

Sometimes the perpetrators are armed, heightening fear among office workers who thought they were safe.

As a result many companies have begun taking precautions to keep entrances are monitored at all times.

Although stats from the Federal Bureau of Investigation show that total robberies in general decreased slightly in 2008 from 2007, there was an estimated 10.1 percent increase from 2004.

In the past year, ComPsych Corp., a provider of employee-assistance programs, reported a 21% increase in the number of requests for crisis counseling at offices that were robbed while employees were present and requests from banks rose 16%.

Typically, worker-compensation laws prohibit employees from suing employers for workplace injuries except in circumstances involving recklessness or gross negligence on the part of the employer.

Also, lawyers for employees say making the connection between employer recklessness and injuries sustained during a robbery can be difficult.

Here are some quick tips to help prevent workplace theft:

  • Keep valuable portable items locked up,such as laptops, purses
  • Put ID plates or ID numbers on equipment.
  • Use cabinet/furniture locks.
  • What can't be locked up should be secured, chained, or bolted down.

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