CLA Connect Open Forum

Unattended laundromat, strategies for reducing drug deals and loitering?

  • 1.  Unattended laundromat, strategies for reducing drug deals and loitering?

    Posted 5 days ago
    I have a very small 'mat in a so-so area.  It is frequently used by vagrants to loiter for hours, and I believe one or two drug dealers are also using it to stash drugs.  I'm fine with homeless people using the 'mat to wash their clothes.

    What's the wisdom out there on tried and true strategies?


  • 2.  RE: Unattended laundromat, strategies for reducing drug deals and loitering?

    Posted 5 days ago
    I don't know of anyway other than possibly a two way intercom along with a great camera system. Local law enforcement's policy of how they help handle loiterers is a factor. Some will disagree but I believe that too large of a list of temporary & even worse permanent "no trespass orders" is not the answer.  No matter what it seems a level of supervising manpower will be needed.

    Maintaining enough regular customers by itself helps as the customers who are not too chummy with each other can help keep the the lesser ones from getting too bold IMHO.  Obviously, the amount of dollars (payroll???) available is related to the manpower or womanpower that can be used.  A customer can have someone with them making it harder to establish clear loitering too!

    Another thing to watch out for is what can become local false rumors making your place out to be more dangerous than other places or even your specific little part of the city.  So it seems like there needs to be a need to find a way to bring enough more respectable customers coming in to offset those "do-gooders" trying to put a feather in their hat with unnecessary fear mongering about your "part of the city"???  The advising (possibly media) fear mongers might even have ties to your competition.

    I think some on this forum have implied that brand new equipment with the highest prices will possibly help make better quality of customers to start coming in more & more.  Snob appeal approach???

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    Michael Walsh www.kingkoin.com
    Store Owner/ Employee
    King Koin Laundry, Car n Dog Wash
    Bismarck ND
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  • 3.  RE: Unattended laundromat, strategies for reducing drug deals and loitering?

    Posted 5 days ago
    I am in your exact position with a recent store purchase.  Cleaning the place up, fixing the equipment, and having many cameras visible helps a lot and mainly being around as much as possible has been huge.  When I see them come in with no laundry I immediately send them on their way.  It's been 6 months and it's getting better but I feel it will be another 6 months to a year to have it stopped for the most part.  I'm having customers that haven't been in for a long time tell me they feel safe now and business is building.  You have to be persistent and around.

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    Paul DeFrisco
    Multiple Store Owner
    Lakewood Laundromat
    Lakewood NY
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  • 4.  RE: Unattended laundromat, strategies for reducing drug deals and loitering?

    Posted 5 days ago
    Some of my tried and true effects are not being open 24 hours. A good camera system with monitoring, on premise attendants and on premise owner.

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    Deward Stout
    Store Owner/ Employee
    Hurricane Laundromat & Storage
    Hurricane UT
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  • 5.  RE: Unattended laundromat, strategies for reducing drug deals and loitering?

    Posted 5 days ago
    Cameras are obvious but you have to monitor and take immediate action when you see things.  Don't think they will act as a deterrent.  The people you're trying to shoo away don't think and act rationally.

    Pro-activity talk to local police and ask them for ideas.  Don't just call them when you have problems.  Understand the laws and ordinances for trespassing and loitering and how the police can enforce them.  Where I'm at, the police are very helpful, but you have to do the things they tell you, like having proper signage, which BTW, you have to buy from them.   Our city also has a program where the police can access your security cameras in real time and they seem to appreciate business owners that are trying to help.

    Above all, constantly stay on it.  Don't turn a blind eye when you see things.  If you see something, act on it.  Ask the person to leave or call the police.  If you stay on top of things, people eventually get the message and they'll go somewhere else.  But if you let your guard down for even a minute, they'll be back.



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    Paul Kludt
    Store Owner/ Employee
    Lake Worth Coin Laundry
    West Palm Bch FL
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  • 6.  RE: Unattended laundromat, strategies for reducing drug deals and loitering?

    Posted 5 days ago
    Edited by Michael Walsh 4 days ago
    Paul Kludt,

    Thanks for giving us a "heads up" that the police accessing footage is something possibly viable.  How long has that been allowed?  Do they only look at the footage after they get a call from you or are they looking at other times?  Any other operator have had their city accommodate them that way?

    I did visit with some into law enforcement here locally.   So far the response was the IT person was concerned about legal liability ... privacy ... I am not sure what his excuse was.  To be fair though he was not the one to make the decision to go ahead to allow that ... he was more of a technical IT person for the city.

    City commissioners are sometimes more open to trying something ... if it is shown to be working somewhere else ... not to reinvent the wheel so to speak.


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    Michael Walsh www.kingkoin.com
    Store Owner/ Employee
    King Koin Laundry, Car n Dog Wash
    Bismarck ND
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  • 7.  RE: Unattended laundromat, strategies for reducing drug deals and loitering?

    Posted 4 days ago
    Post a sign that says:
    "Permission has been granted for police to use hidden cameras to gather information and record events in this Laundromat."

    Send a letter to your police, with return receipt, granting police the right to record your premises. They may never do anything, but it may scare anyone storing drugs in your store. It might also encourage the police to give a little attention to enforcement at your store. You need to send the letter so you're not involved in lawsuit claiming you lied about surveillance.

    More visits to your store, cameras, bulky male attendants, closing the restroom and discouraging the homeless from making your place a clubhouse will also help.

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    Larry Larsen
    Laundromat123.com
    Anaheim, CA
    Distributor - Insurance - Consulting
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  • 8.  RE: Unattended laundromat, strategies for reducing drug deals and loitering?

    Posted 4 days ago
    If you are unattended, the more perks you have for your customers, the more you draw vagrants.  Power stations, TV, Games, outside covered or uncovered seating, Free childrens books, Deep sink, Areas that invite vagrants include the nooks and crannies to hide inside or guard them from weather outside.  Good interior and exterior lighting helps at night.

    I built a small concrete pad for a bench in a convenient location and the guy that sold me the concrete bench asked if I was planning to cover the sitting area.  Not after hearing that covering  the outside sitting area was a magnet for those with too much time on their hands.

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    Les Monthei
    Potential Investor
    Redding CA
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  • 9.  RE: Unattended laundromat, strategies for reducing drug deals and loitering?

    Posted 4 days ago
    A while back someone posted this.

    IF YOU HAVE NOTHING TO DO,
    PLEASE DON'T DO IT HERE

    I borrowed that and made a sign.

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    Curt Harrington

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  • 10.  RE: Unattended laundromat, strategies for reducing drug deals and loitering?

    Posted 3 days ago
    If the police would like to see my cams they are most welcome.
    It's a private business, so I don't see that there would be any expectation of privacy, especially if it is posted.






  • 11.  RE: Unattended laundromat, strategies for reducing drug deals and loitering?

    Posted 2 days ago
    It's not an expectation of privacy issue but a liability concern. Recent court decisions have been made against property owners posting fake cameras or potentially signs that create a false sense of security for your customers. What you post should be true and carefully worded. A good sign might discourage the drugs hidden in the Laundromat problem.

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    Larry Larsen
    Laundromat123.com
    Anaheim, CA
    Distributor - Insurance - Consulting
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