Robbery is a crime that everyone is familiar with. You hear about it on the radio, see coverage on your local news stations, and read headlines on the internet and newsstands. But how prepared are you in the event someone walks into your establishment, pulls out a gun, and says “Don’t move?” What do you do? What procedures do you have in place? Is your staff trained to react in this instance?
Robbery occurs when thieves believe there is enough profit in the endeavor to outweigh any risks. You are less likely to experience a theft if the robber(s) perceives limited potential profit and a high risk of being caught. Just because your business dose not keep cash on hand does not mean the criminals are aware of this and may see you as an easy target.
Whether it is a bank robbery, convenient store robbery, robbery at a church, etc., the following tips can provide a wealth of help in the event a robbery occurs at your business.
Robbery Prevention Tips to Follow –
Discouraging a Robbery
- Have a security officer patrol your property thus providing a high level of security presence and deterrent to criminal activity; statistically, crimes are less likely to occur if you have posted on-site security.
- Ensure that signs and displays are not causing an obstruction to the view of the customer service area from the street.
- Think about installing surveillance cameras or alarms in addition to having posted security officers; even non-functioning cameras fool some would-be criminals into thinking they are real and may go elsewhere.
- Make sure to have strong lighting by all doorways.
- Make sure everything can be seen clearly throughout your property.
Be Cautious of your Surroundings
- Follow your instincts. If you feel as if something just doesn’t seem right when it comes to a situation or person, you are most likely correct.
- If you see a suspicious car, truck, or van in the parking lot of your place of business, make a note of the make and model, and the license number.
- Always be aware of who is in your establishment and where they are.
- When unlocking or locking up the premises, check for any unusual movement around you.
- Suspect those who come into your business wearing clothing that’s wrong for the season – pay extra attention to coats, hoodies, and clothes that are a few sizes too big.
Opening and Closing Procedures
- Make it a firm policy that at least two employees are always present together during the process of opening up and closing for the day.
- When you (or your opening staff) get to the business at the start of day, check around the building watching for any people or vehicles that don’t belong there, as well as signs of forced entry, attempted break-ins or vandalism.
- Upon closing, be sure to check all areas to ensure that no one is hiding on the premises.
- Don’t let anyone in once the business has closed.
- Implement safety procedures traveling to and from your business and home.
- Scan your location looking for any vehicles that might be following you.
- Take down the license plate number of any vehicle that seems suspicious.
- Don’t always take the same way to and from work and home.
- Know exactly where your area’s police and fire stations are. If you believe someone is following you, call the police, give a description of the vehicle and driver (passengers if any) and go to the police station nearest you.
- Have a professional security consultant come and assess your property and give some recommendations or suggestions to improve the security and safety on your property.
The focus needs to be on surviving the crime. Don’t start a fight or aggravate the perpetrator; it’s not worth risking your well-being for any amount of money.
Actions to Take During a Robbery
- Don’t offer any resistance and stay calm.
- Don’t put your safety at risk by doing anything foolish.
- Do what the robber says, but not more than that.
- Tell the robber you won’t offer any resistance and if you have to make any unusual movements, advise him.
- Everything but your life can be replaced, give the robber the item or money they are seeking; statically, they are going to get it anyway.
- Never get into a vehicle or allow yourself to be taken away from the location – the fight should end there.
Be sure to capture:
- A good physical description of the suspects including clothing, facial hair, scars, tattoos, their speech anything.
- The number of perpetrators involved and the details of how they got away. Obtain the license number of their vehicle if you are safely able to do so.
- All elements of the perpetrator’s physical description – odd features of the robber like a scar or tattoo.
- Whatever the perpetrators are saying to one another.
- The appearance of any weapon for future description.
- To assist the police in locating fingerprints, do your best to notice and remember the items handled by the robber.
Steps to take after the theft occurs:
- Call the police right away, even during the incident and set the phone down. The police will be listening to everything going on often with the suspect not even knowing your phone is on and connected to 911
- Once you dial 911, be sure to remain on the telephone to provide assistance as long as needed.
- Don’t disturb the crime scene. Don’t put your hands on anything.
- Secure the premises for the police, letting no one in or out before their arrival.
- Everyone who’s witnessed the act needs to make a written description of the perpetrators. To avoid muddling anyone’s memory, carry on no conversations either about the robbery itself or about the perpetrator’s description.
- Get the contact information for any witness who finds it necessary to leave.
- Although a robbery is unpleasant to consider and even more, to go through, you want to be ready just in case one occurs. Frequently review the actions that need to be taken if an emergency happens so that these actions become automatic. Meet on a regular basis so a plan is created and discussed.
- A helpful plan might be:
- Telling staff members what to do if a robbery occurs, including not resisting
- Developing signals, ahead of time, that can be used between staff members
- Knowing when to trigger or not trigger an alarm
- Steps for police notification
- Getting the description of the suspect and/or vehicle
- Planning an escape route
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and regional law enforcement announce the implementation of a new regional crime reduction venture – see more here
Your best solution for robbery prevention is to have posted security guards at your location. Your security officers will be able to note suspicious individuals casing your property as well as look for those who stand out in the crowd as potential threats.
It is up to you to take the proper steps in putting your safety and the safety of your employees as a priority. Reduce the risk of your business becoming a target by paying close attention to each robbery prevention tip… go a step further and contact a reliable security guard service today.