Gas Station Surveillance Best Practices

By Ari Erenthal, Published on Jun 07, 2017

Gas stations are a frequent crime target. They tend to be open late at night, do a large volume of their business in cash, and have few employees, making them a convenient target. In this guide, we examine some best practices for gas station surveillance video, including

  • Camera locations
  • Gas pumps
  • Cash registers
  • Shoplifting
  • Stock rooms
  • Bathrooms
  • Public View Monitors
  • Audio
  • Lockboxes
  • Drive-offs and skimmers

Camera *********

*** **** ***** *** station ****** **** ** monitor ***

  • *** *****
  • **** *********
  • *********** *******
  • ***** *****

Gas *****

*** ******** ******** ***** canopies **** ***** *****. These ******** **** **** suppressing *********. **** *** also ********** ******** ********* for ************ *******.

  • ******* ******* ** *** underside ** *** ****** ****** be ******* *********, **** a *********** ****** *********** for ***** **********.
  • ******* ****** ****** ***, ** ******** **** be ********. ********** **** make ******* ******* ***********, but *** ****** **** often **** ****** ********* lighting **** ********* *** exposure **** ***** *** be *********.
  • ******* ****** **** ********* ** varifocal ******. *** **** ** view ****** ** **** enough ** ******* *** vehicle ** **** ** activity ****** *** **** while ***** ********* ****** pixels *** ****/***** ** clearly ******** ******* ***** numbers. It ** ****** **** a ********** **** **** to ****** *** ***** by ******** *** **** in ***** ** *** the **** ******** *****. 

**** *********** **** *** resolution ************, ********** ****** account *** *** ******** height ** *** ******. Gas ******* ******** ******** have ***** ******* ****** to ***** ***** ******* ******** if ***** ******** **** fit. ******** *** ******** between ** *** ** feet (*.* ** *.*) meters ****. ******** * camera **** **** *** create * **** **** directly ********** *** ******. This **** **** *** be ********* ***** *** IPVM **********.

**** *** **** ****** should **** ****** ******** at **** **** ** order ** ****** ******** entering *** *******. ****** gas ******** **** ******** gas ******* ******* *** aisle *** ******* *** ****** on **** *** ** the ****** *** ******* camera ***** ** ***** gas ******* ******. * vehicle ******* ***** *** canopy, ******* ***, *** driving **** ****** ** under ********** ************.

Cash *********

*********** ****** ******** ** gas ******** *** ********** robbed. *********** ****** **** easy ******* ******* ******* they **** ** **** cash ** **** *** locate ***** ********* **** the ****. *** ******* convenience ****** *** **** more ********** *******, ** they *** ********** ** parking *****, ******** * vehicle ** ***** **** quickly.

* ************ ****** ****** be ******* ***** *** cash ********, ****** *** customer. ***** ****** ** another ****** ** *** door,******* ** *** ******, ** *** * head-on **** ** * fleeing *******. * ***** camera ****** ** ******* on *** ******* ** the **** ** ****** anyone ******** *** ******** and ** *** ***** of *** ******* **** left ** *** ***** direction ** ******. **** if * *********** ***** an ****** ** ******* their **** ** ******* a **** ** * hat, **** *****-****** ***** will **** *** *********** the **** *********** ********.********************* * ****** ****** a****** *****. ****** *** ****/***** should ** **** ****** to ******* * ***** image ** * *******'* face. ** *** ** usually **********. 

Shoplifting *******

*********** ****** *** ** attractive ** *********** ** they *** ** *******, and *** *** **** reason: ********** ***** *** easy ******. *******, *****, razors, *********, *** **********, and *** **** *** all ******** ********** *****. When ***** * ***********, determine *** ***** **** of * ***** ******* at *** **** ********. High **** ***** **** cannot ** ******** **** the **** ******** ****** be ******* ** * camera. ***** **** *** be ******* ** * clerk *** ***** ******** for *******.

******* ******** **** **** items ****** ** ** sufficient ****** *** ****/***** to **** * ******* concealing ** **** *** leaving. **** ****** *************** ********* ******* ***** on * ***** ** item ** *********. *********, it ** *** ********* for *** ***** **** being ****** ** **** up ******* ** *** video. **** ****** ***** resolution, *** ********* **** economical, ******* ** ** used *** **** *******. 60 *** ** ***** sufficient.

**********

******** ***** ** **** difficult ** ******* ******* surveillance *******. *************, *** practice ** *** ******** or ************* *** ***********, is **** ** ******. Once * ******* ** owner ******* ** ********** discrepancy, ** *** ** very ********* ** *****.*** ************** *** **** ******** camera *** *** *** pump ****** ******* *** sometimes ** *** **** way ** ***** *************. This ********** *** **** **** the **** ******** **** the *****, ******** ******* reviewing *** ***** ** compare *** ****** ***** rung ** **** *** item ******** ***** ****. Users *** **** ****** for ***** ***** ** transaction **** ********* ** date ** ****** *****. 

******* ***** *** ******** exits ****** ** ********* as ****. **** **** help ******* *********** ***** as **** ** ****** fraud, ***** ********* **** for *********** *** ********* and ***** *** ****** with *** ******.

*********

**** *** ******** ***** cameras ******* ****** ********* in ***** ** ********** vandalism *** **** ***** or ***********. ******* ****** be ***** ** ****** people ******** *** ******* the ********, *** ****** not ** **** ** see ****** *** ******** itself, **** **** *** door ***** *** ******.

Public **** ********

**** *** ******** **** a ***** ******* ** a ********* ******** **** the ******** *** ******-**** *******. * ******-**** ******* allows ********* ** **** an *** ** ***** of *** *** ******* they ****** ********** *******. In ********, ** ***** a ***** ******* **** surveillance ***** ** ** place, ********** ********** ********* and ************ ********* *******.

Audio *********

**** *** ******** ******* audio ********* ** **** as *****, ******** * microphone ******** **** *** cash ********. **** ****** them ** ***** **** they ******* ** ****** selling ***-********** *********** **** as ******* *** *******. Additionally, **** ****** *** station ****** ** ***** credit **** ******** ** providing * ****** ** a ***********.

*********

****** ** *** *** or *** ****** ** restricted *** *********. *****, employees *** **** ** work ***** **** ****** or ** ***********. ******** them ****** ** *** ***** recorder ****** *** *********** that **** ***** ***** or ******* *****,**** ** **** ** not **** * ********. ******* ******** *** ********, ******* *** **** with ** ********. ***** recorders *** ***** ****** inside **** *****, ***** are **** ****** ***** a ******* ** ********* placed *** ** *****. 

Drive-offs *** ********

** *** ****, *** stations ******* ********* ** pump *** ***** *** then *** ** ********* inside, ****** **** **** would **** *** ********* from *** *********** ***** at *** **** ****. This *** *** ******** at **** ***** *****-****. ** * *****-***, a ******** ***** *** and **** ****** ****** off ******* ******. **** crime ******** ****** ** gas ******** ** **** crime *********, *** ******** with * ***** ****** of *****, *** *** stations **** * *** number ** **********. **** gas ******** ****** *** or ***** **** ********* weekly,**** ** ******* **** of $** *** ********. * *****-*** ********* a ***** ******* ***** cause * **** ** $100.

**** *** ******** **** transitioned ***** ** *** **** systems. *******, ***** *** at *** **** ******* increase *** **** **********, ***** *** ******* placed **** ********** ******* systems ******** ******* ****** **** ***********. ****** ************ ******* with ********** ****** *** foot/meter ** *** **** can **** ******** ********* installing ********. 

Comments (12)

Great article Ari.  I always wondered about Class 1/Div 1 or 2 around the pumps. 

I wonder when they will build in cameras like an ATM into them. 

The first best practice is get rid of the old analog cameras you always see on the new with new HD cameras so you can tell who or what you are looking at. 

I agree.

Based on every gas station I've ever been in, I thought best practices was:

- put cameras in the most obscure useless locations and the cash register

- make them as poor quality as possible so they are useless

Ari, thank you for this article, it is very well written and informative.

In response to Greg, we do a ton of ATM surveillance, and although I could see benefit to an ATM style camera in the pump, I tend to believe the cameras that capture the pump and license plate will provide more value, as generally a good license capture and vehicle description is faster for law enforcement to track down. But if you could get the store owners to pay the added cost ATM style cameras inside the pump, the question is when does those class 1 Div 1 requirements come into play, and who makes an explosion proof ATM style camera? 

 

Has anyone trying to put contacts on the doors of the gas pumps to alarm when someone opens the door to install a skimmer?  Thinking Inovonics wireless transmitter and alarm contact. 

Most skimmers today are either stuck on top of the slot to appear as part of the unit or inserted directly in to the card reader slot with a special tool. Most don't bother opening the door anymore as that takes more time and is more noticeable.

The units my customers is having issues with are blutooth and are installed inside the pumps.  Them come back at a later time and connect via wireless to pull data.

Ari,

I enjoyed your article, however I was disappointed that your  overview of how to protect assets did not mention employee safety.  If you have not read OSHA’s 3153 Late Night Retail Recommendations for Workplace Violence I encourage you to take a look at it.   OSHA has started to aggressively pursue General Duty Clause 5.a.1 Citations against Late Night Retail establishments that do not implement the recommendations contained in OSHA 3153. 

If a dealer wants to create a “point of difference” with their customer,  they can do it by sharing knowledge of OSHA 3153 and providing solutions that not only address the loss prevention aspect of security but also address the potentially more expensive liability of not complying with OSHA recommendations. 

There are documented cases where OSHA General Duty Clause Citations have been issued to Late Night Retail establishments as a result of injury or deaths during events that have occurred in a C-Store.  The citations were issued not as a result of the event  but rather as a result of the failure to foresee the potential of the event and the lack of preparation (electronic or physical counter measures) for the event.  The citation amount has just increased from +/-$7000  to +/-$14200.  While (at least for larger establishments) the dollar amount may not create a significate hardship,  once the fine is paid it can create a significant liability in a wrongful death, negligence or premise liability action.

Understanding and utilizing guidance that is provided by OSHA, FEMA, DHS and The FBI provides dealers with the ability to present more effective solutions that help mitigate liability risk when a critical incident occurs.  It can also change the customer’s perception of the dealer’s ability to be a strategic risk management partner.

Thanks for this, Jerry!

I found a copy of OSHA 3153 and will study it in depth. 

You are welcome.  Unfortunately our industry is not keeping up with the new threat vectors created by Active Shooter, Workplace Violence and Cyber Security.  We developed a training program designed to teach sales people to sell outcomes based solutions as apposed to widgets.  Our course covers Risk Mitigation and Critical Incident Response with an emphasis on how Electronic Counter Measures (widgets) can be resource typed and leveraged as part of an All Hazard Response plan.

I've been doing fuel services since I started in this biz some 13+ years ago (my boss's main customer was a major chain he brought with him when he started on his own). I'd say this is a pretty comprehensive list.

One thing we found popular was a camera directly above the till (sometimes covert) to closely monitor transactions as they moved across the counter and into the cash drawers. This protects against both employees skimming the till (slips a $5 in his pocket instead of the cash drawer), and customers scamming their change ("Hey, I gave you a $20 and you only gave me change for a $10!" "No sir, the video shows you only gave us $10". This works better in Canada with our colour-coded money.)

Regarding Michael's idea of sensors on dispenser doors, most modern pumps have built-in intercoms and thus the wiring for them; one could potentially piggy back on that (tie it into the call button, so the intercom buzzes), or have additional wiring pulled in when they're installed. Even without intercoms, almost all still connect back to the paypoint systems anyway; it wouldn't be difficult to rig the door triggers to signal the terminal from there and alert the attendant that the door has been opened (of course, NONE of this matters if a little social engineering is used and the skimmer installer just convinces the staff they're legitimately there to service the dispensers).

It's amazing how quickly the crimes adapt to changes. We used to make sure the canopy cameras could capture plates in case of drive-offs... after Grant's Law came into effect in BC, stations stopped spending the money for those cameras... then they found a spike in the use of stolen credit cards for pay-at-the-pump, and the canopy cameras made a comeback.

 

Shameless plug for the company I work for, but any convenience store/stop and rob that does NOT have cameras set up to capture license plates of vehicles at all entry and exit points, and leaves any blind spots for surveillance, is foolish. I have also noticed in a lot of cases that the surveillance cameras are so high on the building or canopy that a baseball cap will prevent a suspect's face from being recorded.

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