A robbery can be a frightening experience with serious consequences. To protect yourself and your business, take preventive measures and make it obvious that those measures have been taken.
Ways to Discourage Robbery
Lock unused doors.
Avoid working alone. If you must, turn on a hidden radio or TV so robbers will think there's someone with you.
the schedule and route for your bank deposits so a robber never knows
when or where to expect you. Make several deposits each day so that you
only keep necessary cash in the cash drawer.
Make sure your cash
register is clearly visible to passers-by. Arrange the counter so that
any person near it is visible from the street.
Avoid placing signs or displays near windows which may block visibility from the street.
the serial number of the bottom bill in each bin of the cash drawer,
and instruct employees not to use these bills in making change.
"bait" money in a spare compartment of cash registers. The bait packet
should be separated by face value as other bills. Keep a list of the
serial and series year numbers to give to law enforcement officials if
If your business runs an exceptionally high risk
of robbery, you may want to invest in a bulletproof cashier screen. A
screen "defuses" the robber's threat, but other prevention measures may
be equally effective at lower cost.
Display signs at entrances and exits indicating that safes require secondary keys not in the possession of employees.
Advertise your security alarm system with signs in visible locations.
a mutual aid system among stores on your block. Agree to keep an eye on
each other's buildings and watch for any suspicious activities. Install
"buddy buzzer" alarms so you can signal your neighbor to call police if
you're being robbed.
Place multi-colored height markers at
exits. If you are robbed, you can get an accurate estimate of the
suspect's height as they leave.
A robbery may be over in less
than a minute. You need a quick eye to get a good look at the robber and
your memory might be faulty under duress or post-incident shock. That's
why stores in some cities are placing hidden cameras behind cash
If a Robbery Happens
If someone points a gun or weapon at you and demands
your money, always give it to them. Never put your personal safety at
risk by refusing an armed robber.
If you have a silent alarm and
can reach it unnoticed, use it. Otherwise, wait until the robber
leaves. (Use your alarm with care. Excessive false alarms can cause
problems for law enforcement and for you.)
If possible, signal
other employees. Have a prearranged signal for such emergencies. Again,
if the robber will see you, wait until it is safe. Try to avoid sudden
moves. Many robbers are just as nervous as you are.
important thing to do if you're robbed: OBSERVE. The description of the
suspect you give to police may be the only information they have to go
After a Robbery
Call police immediately and share all the details you observed.
Write down everything you can remember about the robber and the crime itself:
details about the robber's appearance such as height, weight, skin
color, color of hair and eyes, scars, tattoos, clothing, shoes
other observable details such as accent, weapon(s), or mannerisms
the robber's exact words
details about any vehicle the robber uses to get away
Keep everyone away from surfaces the robber may have touched.
Cooperate fully with law enforcement and prosecutors. Your help is crucial, so stick with the case.