Reduce Smash-and-Grab Thieves’ Success Use Security Window Films

Washington, D.C. – October 24, 2023 – To help foil thieves, the nonprofit International Window Film Association (IWFA), recommends the professional installation of security window film in retail spaces where glass windows, doors and display cases may present a smash-and-grab opportunity.

Merchandise stolen in just one recent smash-and-grab crime totaled $260,000, and the items were taken in a matter of seconds. Research from the retail industry indicates a marked rise in retail theft estimated at $112 billion annually. Two-thirds of retail respondents have also seen an increase in aggressive behavior, and an estimated 16 percent of thieves reportedly used a violent tactic such as smash-and-grab. Jewelry store owners saw a 31 percent increase in thefts in 2022 over 2021.

“While security window film may not prevent a crime from taking place, it may force perpetrators to work harder to gain entrance to a store or a display case, and the delay itself could work to prevent a crime from taking place or lessen losses, while giving enforcement personnel more time to react” said Darrell Smith, executive director of the IWFA. “Security window films can be very cost-effective, and they work around the clock. Once installed, they can be forgotten until they are needed,” added Smith.

Security window films are offered in different thicknesses and are usually made of multi-layered polyester and have thicker more aggressive adhesive systems, which can help to hold broken glass fragments together when broken. They can also be installed as an attached system, which consists of the film being installed on the glass with its sides attached to a window frame or a product encasement using either a structural construction sealant or a mechanically-attached system. Instead of seconds to gain entrance by smashing glass, it may take thieves several minutes and multiple blows before they can penetrate the new film-on-glass system, allowing enforcement personnel more time to respond.