CLA Connect Open Forum

Security for bill changer machine

  • 1.  Security for bill changer machine

    Posted 08-08-2018 12:09
    Does anyone have any recommendations for security for bill changer machines or coin boxes?  We have cameras everywhere but have had attempted tampering/theft at times.  Possibly something that would detect if the machine or coin box opens or there is excessive vibration and send an alert to my phone?  Don't know what is out there...

    Michael Rosedale
    Store Owner/ Employee
    Columbus OH

  • 2.  RE: Security for bill changer machine

    Posted 08-08-2018 12:23
    Edited by Paulie B 08-08-2018 12:24

    First thought that comes to mind is to add a couple more high def cams at the changer so you can really catch someone in the process of tampering.
    Once you have that video, post a couple of "wanted" photos of them in the act around the store, and right at the changer. Maybe even in the window.
    Not only will you stop that person from coming back to your mat, but you will discourage others.

    I know it's not easy to catch someone in the act, but it's the best way. It takes a little effort.
    So you will need to check your change machine a few times a day to get an idea of when you got hit. Then all you need to do is to review the footage.

    Once you post the wanted poster, this problem will fall by the wayside.
    It may only be one person doing this to you. You will also see coin box tampering go away.

    Also, I always had cams at 6' heights at the exits. You get great face shots of people exiting your mat that you can include with the primary photo of them caught in the act.
    The more cams, the better, imo. Especially ip or high def cams. Well worth the investment.
    good luck!

    Paulie B
    Multiple Mat Owner since 1976
    New York City, NY

  • 3.  RE: Security for bill changer machine

    Posted 08-08-2018 17:54
    Medeco locks for the changers, and no round key locks for the coin boxes.

    - Winston
    Store Owner/ Employee
    Chesapeake VA

  • 4.  RE: Security for bill changer machine

    Posted 08-08-2018 23:13
    Something I have done for "one or More" of my customers is to drill a 1/4" hole in the front of the changer at about face height.
    Then installed a Hi Def Camera in back of the hole.
    The from of the changer has a normal sign stating that the changer is for customer use only.
    One of the "O's" is not painted in the center, providing the view for the camera.
    Anytime someone walks in front of the changer, up to the changer, uses the changer, or tries to tamper with the changer, a full face video is made capturing their profile in glorious Hi Def color for future ID if needed.
    It has come in handy a "few times".
    I also place a camera in a side profile location as well, also hidden.
    Don't forget the camera looking out into the parking lot, which can catch the car, and license plate.
    I even know of one guy which has a roof camera, disguised as a light sensor.
    If you aren't using the Highest Definition Cameras you can get for the important places, then you shouldn't even bother installing them at all.
    Low def pictures are useless.

    Service Technician since 1986
    and sometimes Laundromat Owner
    Santa Barbara, CA

  • 5.  RE: Security for bill changer machine

    Posted 08-09-2018 08:48
    Most of the changer manufactures make a high security kit to go on changers. Vend rite makes them for their machines also. As for the laundry machines, i had a  alarm guy who wanted to wire all of my boxes one time. The only problem is by the time alarm goes off or alerts your phone the damage is done to machine. That's the real cost. It is higher than the money they get. I would protect the changers as good as you can and put a lot of cameras as a deterrent.

    Chris Mirisciotta
    Store Owner/ Employee
    Canon Coin Laundry
    Canonsburg PA

  • 6.  RE: Security for bill changer machine

    Posted 08-09-2018 11:38
    Edited by Joe C. 08-09-2018 11:39
    This is a tough question that I've also pondered.  How much security is needed and at what point does the laundry send a negative message that everyone is a criminal?

    My strategy won't work for everyone, but it might work for you.  If my laundromat has people at all times then criminals most likely won't harm my equipment.

    Having said the above, I find ways to make sure people are in my laundromat at all times.  Or course I want these people to be paying customers.  But, I also allow non customers to use my Internet for free.  I allow them to sit on my patio.  I allow nearby apartment dwellers to come into my store to get quarters.  I allow people waiting for the bus to sit inside.  I allow people to sit down and socialize, especially on my patio where it draws attention to my laundromat.  I allow decent people to read a book or work on their computer at my laundromat.  They may not be customers at the moment but they may become customers in the future.

    I don't always have people in my laundromat, but as long as I have one or two, I feel comfortable that criminals will go elsewhere.

    I'm fully attended now so that helps immensely.  But that wasn't always the case.  When I first bought the laundromat 3 years ago we only had an attendant working 3 hours per evening to clean and close the store.  In three years the only thing stolen was one laundry cart.

    Joe C.
    Store Owner
    Happy Bubbles Laundromat
    North Hollywood, CA

  • 7.  RE: Security for bill changer machine

    Posted 08-09-2018 17:27
    Edited by Michael Walsh 08-09-2018 17:32
    Joe C.,

    You make some great points about the flow of people (strangers to each other) being a way of keeping incidents of vandalism & theft to a minimum.  I remember that as one of the points I tried to drive home when I testified both verbally & in writing before taxation committees over the years to our state legislature to avoid expanding gross-sales taxes to laundromats.  Less ability to be affordable ... fewer people using our facilities ... throwing away their clothes rather than washing them ... etc.  It does not take a genius to see something similar happening with add'l cost from CC merchant fees, water bills or whatever that have to be passed on to the customers &/or potential customers.

    We survived IMHO a badly run "emergency all male homeless shelter from hell" 1.5 city blocks away for over 5 years.  It was one that housed well over 100 of who you I think city slickers gladly gave a one way bus ticket & filled them up about how "blue sky" the oil boom unemployment situation was in our area.  Tell me the truth:  Were some of you guilty of the "one way ticket trick" to us here in Bismarck from the USA's most populous & crime ridden cities???

    What I saw in Joe's post is the situation of allowing the kind of "hanging out" that was a bit different than "blatant loitering".  What we found though is actual loiterers ... seeing some tolerance from us as racial or other unconstitutional preference from us ... when it was not based on that at all ... our tolerance was based on the person having had proven him or herself before hand.

    Paulie B ... I saw your column & saved it on that more general subject of loitering & thought it was very well put & I was surprised at the common ground it held out for all laundromats not just for those in NYC.

    Michael Walsh brand new ongoing though
    Store Owner/ Employee
    King Koin Laundry, Car n Dog Wash
    Bismarck ND

  • 8.  RE: Security for bill changer machine

    Posted 08-09-2018 13:29

    You are right on target, imo!
    Full Hi Def face views of both frontal & side views at the changer are terrific, as well as an outdoor cam designed specifically for license plates. Some have headlight compensation so they will not be blinded by headlights.

    I'm not sure about the hidden cam value though.

    Pro - The "unsub" (term from the show Criminal Minds)  doesn't know it's there so he can't mess with it.

    Con - A hidden Cam has no deterrent value to stop the crime in the first place.

    Paulie B
    Multiple Mat Owner since 1976
    New York City, NY

  • 9.  RE: Security for bill changer machine

    Posted 08-09-2018 19:31
    The Hidden is to catch the ones who think they are being sneaky.
    The obvious camera is to scare away the 98%
    The 98% will not notice if the obvious one is fake or not. (it is)
    The 2% will see the "fake" and do the deed in the open, instead of masked.
    Cams don't stop or even slow down the 2%, they just make them hide their face.
    Got a few arrests as a result.
    And to the poster about thieves in crowded Mats; Not so.
    Several places I've worked at were hit in the daytime, with a dozen people standing around.
    I've even opened a few jammed boxes in a crowded mat, with the owners' standing guard.
    Few even noticed.
    The video footage of the guys' and girls' faces, plus license plate, put them away for a few years.
    Plus the wages they get from picking up roadside trash goes straight to the Mat owner. For the next 7 years.
    Win/Win all around, except for the thieves that is.

    Service Technician since 1986
    and sometimes Laundromat Owner
    Santa Barbara, CA

  • 10.  RE: Security for bill changer machine

    Posted 08-09-2018 11:49
    Standard Change-Makers has an optional alarm system that can be installed in all models. The Alarm System has a few of the features you mentioned: vibration detector, "door open" switch, and a dry contact that allows you to connect with your building alarm. There are a few additional items - such as the siren horn and disarm button. The alarm is automatically armed everytime the door is closed. Unfortunately, it's one of those optional features that doesn't get discussed much - until after you needed it.

    Michael Coons
    Manufacturer Employee
    Standard Change-Makers Inc
    Indianapolis IN

  • 11.  RE: Security for bill changer machine

    Posted 08-09-2018 21:20
    Sometimes an additional layer of steel will deter thieves and send them off to easier targets.  If you open and close attended, you can mount a steel plate over the change machine that is marked "alarmed" and put a few round locks in place.  If your change machine can be seen from the outside, it might be a deterrent.

    Les Monthei
    Potential Investor
    Redding CA