Crime Prevention

Armed Robbery

Armed robbery is a dangerous crime that is on the increase in the United States. It is defined as the unlawful taking of property from someone by using force or the threat of violence.
General Preventative Measures
  • Know and Obey Cash Limits!
  • Know location and operation of Alarm/Security devices
  • Be alert to suspicious persons or activities in or near building
  • Never discuss security procedures/details and/or physical layout of the building with other unauthorized individuals.
 What to do During a Holdup
  • Remain Calm. Do not panic.
  • Avoid any action(s) that might upset the robber(s). The personal safety of employees and others in the building is paramount.
  • Obey robber(s) demands. Do not give robber(s) more than asked for or volunteer information.
  • Give bait money and or security pack to robber(s).
  • Activate alarm/cameras only when safe to do so.
  • Note: If holdup is observed by an employee other than the victim, activate alarm/cameras at your station and notify police. 
What to do After a Holdup
  • Notify supervisor, manager or security officer immediately after robber(s) leave.
  • Designated employee should immediately notify police and stay on line until instructed to hang up.
  • Victim and other witnesses should complete suspect identification form.
  • Avoid discussing details of hold up with anyone except employers and law enforcement officials.
  • Protect and secure area and/or other items which which the robber(s) may have touched.
  • Lock door(s) and close drapes or blinds. Permit only employees and law enforcement officials inside.
  • A designated employee should be stationed outside the building to meet law enforcement officials, if safe to do so.
Method of Escape/Vehicle Description
  • Note direction robber(s) last seen traveling (north, south, east, west), name of street and description of the vehicle.
  • Vehicle description should include:
    • Type (Car, Truck, SUV, etc.)
    • Make (Ford, Chevy, Oldsmobile, etc.)
    • Model (Escort, Impala, Cutlass, etc.)
    • License number including state
    • Special features (damage, spoilers, etc.)
  • As the robber(s) is leaving, continue to observe his directions exactly until you know he is out of the business. Do not try to follow him/her.
Handling the Media
  • Prohibit news media from entering the building, close drapes or blinds.
  • Avoid contact with news media and make no public statements.
  • Refer inquiries from news media to official spokesperson.
  • Official spokesperson should not divulge:
    • Amount of loss
    • Names of victim/witnesses
    • Whether bait money or security pack was activated and/or operational
    • Description of robber(s)

Even with a strong security program, there is some chance that a robbery will occur. Robbery is potentially explosive confrontation. Most robberies take place in less than 2 minutes. It is imperative that everyone involved in retail operation be taught how to react in that short period of time in a way that will promote the safety of employees and customers.

Suspicious Persons

  • Outside-parked cars, and telephone booths are among favorite observations posts for casing a business.
  • Inside-clerks should be alert to customers who seem to be loitering or glancing around the building while appearing to be shopping or browsing around.
Suspect Identification
Try to observe the robber in as normal a way as possible, without staring. The more you can remember, the more helpful it will be to law enforcement.
Information law enforcement will attempt to obtain about the robber(s):
  • Name
  • Sex
  • Height
  • Race
  • Age
  • Weight
  • Hair
  • Eyes
  • Complexion
  • Scars, marks, teeth, tattoos, speech, etc.
Clothing: Head to Foot
  • Hat
  • Trousers
  • Shirt/Tie
  • Socks
  • Coat/Jacket
  • Shoes

Weapon Identification

Although information about weapons is helpful to law enforcement, it is not practical to train employees in detail. Anything they can remember about the weapons would be useful. Also try to note which hand the robber is holding the weapon. The most prevalent weapons are handguns. There are two basic types, revolver and semi-automatic. Shotguns and rifles are also used in robberies. Bear in mind, just because you can't see the weapon doesn't mean the robber doesn't have one concealed.

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