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Preventing Stolen and Vandalized Vehicles

So much of your time is devoted to the care of the children, dealing with the state inspectors, addressing the concerns of the parents and handling the individual issues of your staff, you don't usually consider your vehicles. As long as you keep the vehicles maintained and gassed you expect that they will be there waiting or you each day.
 
However, we have seen dozens of vehicles that have been stolen or vandalized over the past 3 years. These vehicles are generally left in the school's parking lot at night and over the weekend. Criminals that are interested in taking a vehicle for a joy ride are always pleased to find an automobile that is not attended, which makes your vehicles very attractive targets.
 
Usually, preschool vans that are stolen for a joy ride are recovered within 1 - 3 day. Sadly, most of these vans are returned to the school with significant damage. Broken windows, destroyed dashboards, stripped transmissions, blown engines, burnt out brakes, cut and slashed seats, sliced headliners...all of these damages have been inflicted upon school vans taken for a joy ride.
 
Some of the steps you can take to protect your vehicles are:
  • Keeping your parking lot well lit at night
  • Contacting the police and requesting that they patrol by your school several times nightly
  • Keeping shrubbery trimmed low so it doesn't obscure the view of your parking lot
  • Fencing your parking lot
 
These common sense precautions can save you the hedache of dealing with a damaged van or bus. Now is also the time to verify whether or not you have comprehensive and collision insurance on your vehicles. All these insurances will come into play if your vehicle is vandalized.
 
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