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Preventing a robbery, what to do if a robbery occurs

By: Brian Vizzusi, Lincoln Police Chief
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Robbery Prevention Many robberies occur because the businesses make it convenient for the robber. Poor cash handling, housekeeping and a general lack of planning can make you an easy target for robbery. General protective measures: -Keep the interior, front and rear entrances well lighted -Keep advertising and merchandise out of windows as much as possible -Always keep the rear and side doors locked -Maintain a record of decoy or "bait" currency to be given to a robber -Be sure your alarms are in good working order at all times -Do not open your place of business before or after regular business hours -Avoid routine procedures which can be observed and used to the advantage of would-be robbers -Call the police if a request is received to open after regular hours -Be sure that your video monitoring equipment is operating Making your bank deposits: -Vary time and routine of bank trips -Consider using a "drop" safe that can only be opened by the owner and/or manager -Keep cash exposure and cash on premises as low as possible -Keep cheques separate from cash -Go directly to the bank -If possible conceal the money, do not leave deposits or withdrawals unattended in the car -Do not go to the bank alone -If possible, make deposits during daylight hours Plan with your employees in case of a robbery: -Instruct all employees in use of the alarm system -Assign employees different tasks in case of a robbery one to call the police one to make observations about the robber one to protect the evidence at the scene of the crime one to detain witnesses When a robbery occurs: -Remain calm, robbers are usually very excited and may be easily provoked or under the influence of drugs -Take no action that would jeopardize the safety of you, your employees or customers -Obey the robber's instructions -If possible, activate the silent alarm -Keep the hold up note if one is used by the robber -Take a good look at the suspect and immediately note any details that may be useful to police Immediately after robbery: -Call the police as soon as robbers leave the premises -Protect the scene of the crime and stop others from disturbing the scene -Do not touch any articles that may have been touched or left by the robbers -Hold all witnesses until the police arrive -Lock the doors and allow no-one in except the police -Do not trust memory, jot down all information immediately Identifying a robber to police -Practice identification with co-workers -Use a tape measure and masking tape to make height markers on the door frame of the entrance. Tape the door-frame of the entrance at 5'8", 5'10", 6' and 6'3" since this will help you tell the police the robber's height -Try to notice abnormalities, speech problems or scars -Notice type of build, or estimate weight -Notice type and colour of clothing worn -Observe direction in which suspects leave and try to get a description of the vehicle from any witnesses and write down the licence number -Be able to describe the size, type and color of guns or any other weapons used in the robbery