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Preventing Armed Robbery  

By Maryland Community Crime Prevention Institute
Monday, March 17, 2008; 7:00 pm

Article Index
Preventing Armed Robbery
Discouraging Robberies
During a Robbery
After a Robbery
All Pages

Commercial Armed Robbery

Wouldn't you agree that a robbery is a dangerous situation for everyone involved?

Robberies are over in less than two minutes. What you do in those two minutes of time could make the longest two minutes of your life, or the last two minutes of your life.

Your number one priority in any crime is your personal safety!

Remember: If the robber demands cash or property, give it up! It's not worth injury or death. No one likes to think about becoming a victim of a crime. However, the time to think about a robbery is before it happens. Crimes against business are usually crimes of opportunity. If you make it easy for someone to target your business for a robbery, chances are someone will. So don't make it easy. Make it risky and unrewarding.

How to Make Robbery Unrewarding

Develop a plan for what to do before, during and after a robbery, and regularly check to see that policy and procedures are communicated and followed.

What to Do Before

  • Lighting
    Install good lighting both inside as well as outside of your business.

  • Clean
    Keep your business clean and free of clutter.

  • Escape Routes
    Locate and eliminate any potential escape routes or hiding places for a robber.

  • Visibility
    Never restrict the view either into or out of your business with signs or displays on the windows or door. Always maintain maximum visibility.

  • Training
    The best defense against the crime of ARMED ROBBERY is to make your business and employees more security conscious. Make sure you and your employees know your responsibility before , during and after an armed robbery.

  • Check
    Keep alert at all times, checking for loiterers or people watching your business. Greet and make eye contact with everyone who enters your business.

  • Cash Control
    Keep a minimal amount of cash on hand. Less than $50.00 is ideal, and use of a drop safe is advisable. Make frequent cash pickups and never count cash at the counter area.

  • Register
    Should be centrally located within the business and easily seen by customers as well as passers-by.

  • Bank Runs
    Should be made at alternate times and routes. Try to use a variety of containers to carry the cash in and whenever possible try to use a different courier to make the bank runs.

    Also: Go directly to the bank!

  • Two People
    Establish a policy of using two people to open and close your business; use a set of pre-arranged signals for "ALL CLEAR."

  • Mark & Post
    Mark doorways with proper height markings, post your minimum cash policy and the penalty for ARMED ROBBERY.

What to Do During

  • Stay Calm
    Keep calm: Let the robber know that you intend to cooperate.

    Don't make any sudden moves.

    Warn the robber of any surprises such as an employee in the back, delivery people, or a customer about to enter the business.

  • Do What You're Told
    Don't argue: Obey all of the robber's orders. Keep all communication with the robber short and simple.

  • Give It Up
    Turn the money over to the robber. Try to treat this as if it was just another business transaction.

  • Don't Try
    Remember whether a robber produces a weapon or not, you must assume that the robber is armed and that the robber has the advantage and controls the scene. More importantly he/she will not hesitate to use it. Do not fight the robber or use a weapon—violence will only increase everyone's personal risk.

  • Alarm
    The time to push the ALARM is AFTER the robber has left your business.


What to Do After

  • Don't Follow
    Do not follow or try to chase the robber. Instead, push the hold-up alarm!

  • Observe
    Observe as much as you can about the robber's physical features and mannerism, type of weapon used, the route and means of escape, the type of vehicle (i.e. make, model, and color) so you can accurately describe them to the police.

  • Report It
    Immediately report it ot the police. DO NOT hang up the phone until the police arrive.

  • Lock Up and Protect
    Lock the door and protect the crime scene. Seperate all employees and customers, do not let them

    and discuss the robbery until the police arrive. Have them write down what they observed.

  • Cooperate
    Cooperate fully with authorities. Do not disclose to anyone other than the police the amount taken in the crime.

More Information

For more information, contact your local Police/Sheriff, or the Maryland Community Crime Prevention Institute.

Maryland Community Crime Prevention Institute (MCCPI)

Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commissions
Public Safety Education and Training Center
6852 4th Street, Sykesville, MD 21784
Phone: 410-875-3425 1-800-303-8802
Fax: 410-875-3420
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

State of Maryland
Community Crime Prevention Institute
Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services

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