Mark Borto, CEO of Barrier1 Systems, pictured in front of a local installation of Tomcat S10 Storefront Bollards.

Crash Rated Bollards Prevent Ram Raids at Retail Stores

Retailers and loss prevention specialists know all too well the threat of smash and grab burglaries that go well beyond the risks to profitability. After all, the personal safety of employees and shoppers is far more important than any product or service being sold. This has led many retailers to invest heavily in solutions such as smash-resistant glass film for windows, guard services, and professional video surveillance systems. 

Unfortunately, all of these solutions combined won’t be able to overcome the new, strikingly similar crime trend taking aim at retailers – “crash and grabs”, otherwise known as ram raids.  

What Are Ram Raids? 

Ram raids are a type of retail crime wherein a vehicle is deliberately driven into a storefront, causing extensive damage to the building and facilitating efficient access for criminals to quickly grab merchandise or valuables before making a rapid getaway.  

These types of attacks generally target retail stores known for selling high end merchandise such as jewelers, gun shops, and luxury retailers. However, convenience stores and even banks are popular targets as criminals are using vehicles to make entry and haul away ATMs and safes. And in the most violent cases, ram raid vehicles also serve as weapons, threatening customers and personnel with thousands of pounds of brute force. 

The Rise and Risks of Ram Raids 

While statistics on ram raids have never been formally gathered, you don’t have to search long to find recent reports of crash and grabs making their way around the news. According to reporting by the Wall Street Journal, local and federal law-enforcement officials say they have seen a sharp uptick in ram-raiding cases since the COVID-19 pandemic amid an overall rise in property crime.  

“[Perpetrators are] figuring that if they break through the front doors, they can get away with whatever is of value inside before police can respond,” says James Dudley, former San Francisco deputy police chief. 

This was exactly the case when, on the early hours of September 3, 2022, thieves rammed a stolen vehicle into a well-known gun shop in Wright City, Missouri. In less than two minutes, the offenders managed to make off with 35 firearms totaling $30,000. The total cost of damages and business lost as a result of the event totaled $200,000.  

How to Prevent Ram Raids 

One of the most effective ways to prevent ram raids is through the strategic implementation of anti-ram vehicle barriers. And while there are a number of anti-ram vehicle barriers available, crash rated bollards are best suited for the needs of retailers in the fight against crash and grabs.  

Crash rated bollards work to stop ram raid attacks before access into the storefront can be made. The strongest of these solutions can effectively stop a 15,000-pound medium duty truck traveling at 50 mph with minimal travel distance after impact, thus preventing a storefront crash and access to high-value assets.  

Crash rated bollards are also suitable for retail storefronts as they do not impede foot traffic and can be designed to complement or blend into a location’s aesthetic. Shoppers also receive peace of mind with a visual reminder of their safety in the event of a ram raid or other type of vehicle ramming incident. However, it is important to note that all bollards are not created the same.  

Crash rated bollards differ from non-crash rated bollards in that they undergo rigorous testing and are rated by standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). These standards require testing the impact of specific weight vehicles traveling at various speeds into the tested vehicle barriers, and assessing crashworthiness based on the penetration distance beyond the barrier.  

As a leading provider of crash rated bollards and anti-ram vehicle barriers, Barrier 1 knows the importance of implementing crash rated bollards for retail security and safety. We offer a range of high-security bollards in a variety of designs and colors, as well bollards with a M50/P1 rating, the highest ASTM F2656 M-rating possible.  

Our team is happy to work with you to find the right bollard solution that fits your store’s design, safety, and security requirements. Contact us today to get started.