March 21, 2017:
By Kevin Trimble, CFE
Director of Loss Prevention for Blue Dot Security Solutions Group
What do you get when you combine two frustrated loss prevention entrepreneurs with an increased frequency of armed robberies targeting the people and company in which they were tasked to protect?
You get a simplistic, innovative, and effective robbery deterrent solution called The Covert Fox!
Kevin Trimble, CFE and Ben Lockhart, CFE were original members of a well-known Fortune 500 wireless carrier’s Loss Prevention team which started back in 2007. Like most loss prevention professionals, much of their time was spent assisting law enforcement with identifying and apprehending armed robbery suspects whom continued to target their corporate and franchised locations. In 2011, an unusual number of recurrent robberies took place at their company as well as many other wireless carriers. The fear was high, employee morale was low, and the losses were becoming substantial. Trimble, then the Director of Loss Prevention, and Lockhart, then the Sr. Manager of Retail Loss Prevention, met over a weekend in Chicago for a beer (or two) to discuss a mitigation response plan. Both bellied up to the bar with a napkin and pen in hand. The common denominator between the dozens of robbery events was one thing, cash, and lots of it. Lockhart said to Trimble, “without cheese, there’s no mice”. It was at that exact moment the light bulb went off. Trimble and Lockhart knew the only solution was to minimize and reduce the amount of cash visible within a safe when or if an armed robbery was to occur. The idea wasn’t just to protect the company’s large sums of cash, it was primarily to change the psychology of the amateur and or repeat criminals looking for a profitable target.
Within three days, the two entrepreneurs had designed and constructed multiple prototypes. Some of the samples were good, some were not so good! The goal was to develop a secondary level of asset protection within an existing commercial grade safe. They knew from the start that their “game changing” device had to magnetically mount to the ceiling or side walls of a safe while closely matching the interior color and texture of the safe. They also had to be sure the product was durable, magnetically strong, simple to install, and able to hold different amounts of cash and other valuables.
At this point, Trimble and Lockhart retained an attorney to start the USPTO patent application to ensure their intellectual property was protected. They also approached their executive team to request approval to implement and test the product within numerous high risk locations. The Covert Fox was now being tested in 16 different locations. Within the first week of implementation, a robbery occurred at one of the test locations that resulted in the criminal walking away with only $150 vs. the $11,400 held within the Covert Fox! This location was robbed on three different occasions within a four-month period and the criminal activity immediately ceased after the minimal score. The following week, another robbery had occurred in a different city with a small loss of $100 vs. the $9,600 covertly hidden with the safe. FYI: It is suggested that a smaller amount of cash is always left within view to ensure the robber(s) doesn’t become suspicious with a safe being entirely empty. Trimble and Lockhart knew they were onto something and began surveying other industries such as jewelers, pawn stores, restaurants, banks, and other high volume cash and asset locations. The response and feedback was certainly favorable and the orders started to come in. Just about one year into their side venture, the two loss prevention professionals had a problem and it was a good problem to have. The Covert Fox was in demand and they needed to professionally mass produce and distribute the product.
In June of 2012 Trimble attended the NRF in New Orleans. While at the conference he was introduced to Berge Jalakian, President & CEO of Blue Dot Safes. Berge was shown the simplistic robbery mitigation solution and instantly “got it”! Soon after, Blue Dot Safes began manufacturing and distributing the Covert Fox from their Pomona California factory. The Blue Dot team immediately jumped in to help improve and streamline the fabrication process as well as the necessary marketing assistance. It was a perfect relationship for both innovative companies!
Fast forward, both Lockhart and Trimble have joined the Blue Dot Safes company fulltime. Lockhart joined the Blue Dot organization in 2014 as the Director of Sales and Marketing. His network, innovative thought, and eighteen years of retail loss prevention knowledge certainly brought new perspective and insight to the growing safe company. In March of 2017, Trimble joined the Blue Dot leadership team as the Director of Loss Prevention Development. Trimble is tasked with creating and overseeing the Security Solutions Group. His primary focus will be designing and implementing innovative and unique security / loss prevention related products, services, and verticals to new and existing Blue Dot clients.
About the Covert Fox:
The Covert Fox is a robbery mitigation solution that minimizes the amount of loss by covertly hiding the majority of funds and valuables within a safe. The Covert Fox is available in numerous powder coated colors in order to create a visual illusion within the interior of a safe. This $99 patented solution has been implemented in hundreds of retail locations and numerous success stories have been recorded thus far.
Note: Confidentiality of our product use is critical. Covert Fox will never reveal or release the names of clients in order to ensure privacy and protection of those using the solution.
Visit www.CovertFox.com to learn more about this innovative and affordable solution.