What You and Your Staff Can do to Avoid an Armed Robbery

  • Employees should be trained to watch for and report suspicious actions of people inside and immediately outside the premises. Don’t hesitate to call the police when worried about a potential risk. Should the person leave before the officer’s arrival, write down the 4 description of the suspect and their vehicle for possible police use. A suspicious person that is seen today may turn out to be the robber who returns tomorrow. Examples of suspicious activity could include:

– Persons monitoring business operations.

– Persons asking about closing times, volume of business, the amount of money on hand, etc.

– Persons who appear to just loiter in the area checking the business layout and operations.

– Persons who may be waiting for a lull in activity and fewer customers.

  • Give every customer entering the business a friendly greeting. Look each customer directly in the eyes. A robber does not want to be identified and such human contact may spoil it for some would-be robbers.
  • Require employees ask for the identification of workers, repair people, guards, police officers, etc. before permitting entry into secured areas.
  • The counter or work area should be cleaned regularly to remove old fingerprints. This increases the possibilities that a robber may leave a readable print behind. Oil or waxbased cleaners should not be used.
  • Vary lunch hours and coffee breaks so several employees are always on duty.
  • Try to have at least two employees on duty always. Employing two clerks is a form of “target hardening” because it may make a robbery more difficult to complete and, therefore, more unsuitable to a potential robber.
  • Don’t be tempted to use phony signs or equipment. The use of phony surveillance cameras, for example, can destroy the credibility of all other security precautions. Robbers soon learn to ignore them.
  • Publicize the fact that the business uses good cash protection techniques and good protection equipment. Let potential robbers know their profits will be small and their risks high by using signs to convey this message. These visual deterrents (decals, placards, signs, etc.) should explain what safe method is used (dual key, drop or time delay safe) in hopes of deterring a potential robber or explaining the method should a robbery occur.
  • Many police departments have procedures for alarm verification and robbery response. Finding out what they are is advisable so that the employees will know what to expect in case of an armed robbery.

For more security tips from security experts like Tony Gallo, please call 1.800.225.2984.

Be sure to follow him on Twitter at @SapphireProtect !


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