According to national statistics, armed robbery is on the increase. By definition, armed robbery is the unlawful taking of property from someone by the use of force or the threat of violence. Theft of property should not be confused with robbery. For example, shoplifting is not considered robbery.
To Prevent Robbery
- Maintain visibility throughout the facility. Keep all doors and windows clear of signs and posters which hinder visibility. Robbers don't like to be observed, and the elimination of hiding places helps to ensure that they stay away.
- Greet visitors as they enter the facility, making direct contact. This serves two purposes: it improves customer relations, and more importantly, it sends a message to any person entering the facility that they have been recognized.
- Keep the facility well lit.
- Develop a cash control program.
- Make bank deposits on a routine basis utilizing an armored service. If this is not possible, take a second person along.
- If an alarm system is in use, clearly post a warning on the outside of the facility.
- Remain alert and watchful for suspicious activity. If a suspicious person is observed, notify Campus Safety & Protection. Be cautious about answering particular questions concerning the campus. Questions relating to opening and closing times, facility alarm systems, how many employees are on duty at any given time, etc. should be a warning signal.
- Keep side and back doors locked to prevent undetected entry.
- Take precautions during opening and closing of the facility. During closing, check all back rooms, restrooms and closets to ensure that no one remains in the facility.
What to do During a Robbery
- Remain calm. There is no need to bring undue attention to the situation. To do so could cause panic and endanger lives.
- Cooperate with the robber. Robbers seldom hurt people who are willing to cooperate.
- Handle the entire procedure as if you were with a customer. Slowing down your actions in the hope that the police will arrive before the robber leaves only endangers lives.
- Observe what the robber looks like and develop a mental picture so that an accurate description can be given to the police.
- Tell the robber about any possible surprises such as a second employee who is working in a back room. Also, inform him/her if you must move in an unanticipated way.
What Not To Do During A Robbery
- Don't argue or fight with the robber. Any amount of money is not worth personal injury.
- Don't try to persuade the robber to give himself/herself up. Once a robbery has started, it is too late for a robber to change his/her mind.
- Don't chase or follow the robber. You could be mistaken for the robber in a pursuit by police.
What to do After a Robbery
- Protect the crime scene. Leave everything as it is. Don't try to clean up or touch any possible evidence
- Discontinue business and lock the facility.
- Ask witnesses to stay until officers' arrival. If unable to do so, write down their names and phone numbers.
- Write down a description of the robber including sex, race, height, weight, build, eye and hair color, scars or tattoo, jewelry, approximate age, and clothing. If possible, note in which direction the suspect fled. Remember, do not chase the suspect.