The Oregon Wine Board was advised today that there have been a number of tasting room burglaries reported in Yamhill County. Please read the message below from Sergeant Todd Whitlow of the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office, which contains some helpful reminders for wineries statewide. Contact Sgt. Whitlow at 503.434.7506 x4915 with any questions or concerns.
Message from Sgt. Todd Whitlow:
It appears there is an individual or group targeting wineries with quick smash and grab burglaries. They appear to be targeting offices and looking for cash boxes kept there or in the tasting areas. In the past week, we have taken burglary reports from wineries in Carlton, Dundee and Gaston.
Employees at one of those wineries reported that someone suspicious came to their winery last week and asked about cans for recycling. That likely could have been an attempt to case the buildings for possible burglaries. Today the suspects propped open the main entrance gate. The gate was closed but not locked or secure.
I suggest that all vineyard and winery owners lock up all buildings, and use and secure your security gates. Activate your alarm systems and make sure they are working properly. We respond to a tremendous amount of false alarms at wineries, at both outbuildings and main buildings. I encourage everyone to make sure alarm sensors are clean and clear of cobwebs and debris. Items that float or move (i.e. balloons, drapes, etc.) with airflow from HVAC systems should be secured or removed to prevent false alarms.
Periodically the magnet connections on the alarm sensors for windows and doors may become dirty or out of alignment, or the expansion and contraction of the buildings themselves will cause them to get out of alignment. Periodic maintenance is necessary, just like on other winery equipment. Your alarm service provider should be able to take care of this periodic maintenance. If you use security cameras at your facilities, make sure all your cameras are working and not blocked by debris, trees or shrubs that have grown up in front of them limiting their effective view. Also, having a staff person who is familiar with the video system is helpful to us should we need to review or make copies of the surveillance recordings.
Finally, I also suggest you update and publish your Responsible Party (RP) with our dispatch center. Your RP is the person your alarm company contacts and who responds when alarms are triggered at your facilities. Those folks are important to us when we are on scene and trying to figure out what has been tampered with or taken. It is also helpful to reset the alarm and check areas within the buildings.
Please do not hesitate to call me with any questions or concerns.
Sergeant Todd Whitlow
Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office
535 E 5th Street
McMinnville, OR 97128