Important message from Napa Chamber of Commerce and City of Napa

Dear Napa Businesses,
As we head into the holiday shopping season, we would like to remind folks of the steps they can take to increase their personal safety and lessen the likelihood of thefts from their Napa businesses. We are all stronger when we work together, and the members of the Napa Police Department want you to have a safe and successful end-of-the-year retail season.

Lighting and security systems:
Each business has their own security needs and budget that is specific to their company. We are here to support you if you have questions about ideal lighting or surveillance camera placements. We invite you to join the Napa Community Awareness Management System (NAPA CAMS), a public-private-community partnership, blending a mix of real-time crime-fighting and community policing aimed at improving neighborhood safety, promoting the success and growth of local businesses, and strengthening the Napa Police Department’s efforts to deter, identify, and solve crime. We would love to partner with you. For more information, check out our NAPA CAMS page.

During the hustle and bustle of the season it is easy to load up your vehicle with purchases while you head into the next store. Please do not invite the attention of criminals by leaving unattended vehicles full of visible valuables or packages. Vehicle windows are easy to break and we do not want you or your customers to be victims of such unnecessary crimes.

Business Scams:
Commercial theft via scams is a lucrative crime and all businesses can be impacted regardless of size or industry type. To save you a lot of words to read we have included the Top 10 scams that target small businesses from the Better Business Bureau.

Employee Thefts:
We have noticed a lot of “We’re Hiring” signs as we approach the holidays. This means many of your employees may be new and not as well-known as your long-term staff. We also know in addition to shoplifting many businesses need to worry about internal losses beyond administrative accounting errors.

Police Department

The mission of the Napa Police Department, in partnership with the community, is to promote and maintain a peaceful, safe and secure environment.

While each business type has different needs, please consider your daily practices as they
relate to internal thefts and losses:
– Take regular (and random) inventory of your products.
– Check your receipts against reports of sold items.
– Require balancing of cash registers at the beginning and ending of shifts and/or assigning cash drawers to each employee to reduce shared access of funds.
– Change code and key access after employee terminations.
– Rotate employees shifts to alter who works with each other on a regular basis.

We know our businesses are well aware of the impacts of shoplifting. A few simple reminders to
help lessen the impacts include:
– Secure easy to steal items or place them closer to the cashier.
– Use hard-to-steal packaging, locking cables, electronic tags or monitoring systems.
– Maintain lighting and line of sight for areas with desirable items.
– Have available staff greet customers upon arrival and roam the store to make thefts less convenient and to ensure your customers have what they need while shopping.
– Schedule adequate staff to ensure customer service needs during peak seasons. The increased number of staff means more eyes on products and customers, lessening the convenience of theft. Do not forget it is easier to conceal items under bulky cold weather clothing or in large bags and baby strollers.
– As appropriate, report problem or suspicious persons to like businesses, your business
associations, and/or the Napa Police Department.
– Consider relocating your cashier in a more central location that provides accountability
for all shoppers. When all of your staff is in the back corner of the business it makes it
easier for others to walk away with your products.

Public safety falls on the shoulders of all of us. We are aware of an increase of large-scale robberies in commercial areas around the Bay Area during the past week (article by the SF Chronicle). We have been in contact with area law enforcement leaders and our District Attorney regarding the coordinated incidents. Please feel free to call the Napa Police Department to report any in progress crimes you observe. We can be reached at 707-257-9223.

Chief Jennifer Gonzales