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Business Beat 

 

January 2009

Robbery Prevention

 

Robbery prevention is an important topic and one that directly affects the business community.  Robbery prevention is something business owners need to cover with new hires as well as current employees on a regular basis.

Anytime there is money in a place, there is a chance that someone will want that money, and is willing to use force to get it. You can take some simple steps to help reduce the chances that you, or your business, will be robbed. There is no way to fully prevent robbery, but you can reduce the odds of becoming a victim.

 

Methods for Discouraging a Robber

  • Lock unused doors.
  • Avoid working alone. If you must work alone, turn on a radio or TV so robbers will think there is someone with you.
  • Vary the schedule and route you take for your bank deposits each day, keep only the necessary cash on hand.
  • Make sure your cash register is clearly visible to passers-by.
  • Avoid placing signs or displays near windows, because they block visibility from the street.
  • Keep "bait" money in a compartment of the cash registers. The bait packet should be separated by face value as other bills. Record the serial numbers of these packets to give to the police if you are robbed.
  • Display signs at entrances and exits indicating that safes require secondary keys, which are not in the possession of employees.
  • Advertise your security alarm system with signs in visible locations.
  • Develop a mutual aid system among stores on your block. Agree to keep an eye on each other’s business and watch for any suspicious activities.
  • Place colored markings at the exits to estimate the suspect’s height as they leave.
  • A robbery may be over in less than a minute. You need a quick eye to get a good look at the robber. That’s why some stores place hidden cameras behind cash registers.
  • When taking out the trash, re-enter by using the front door or take it out with another employee.

If a Robbery Occurs

  • Call police immediately by dialing 9-1-1, before calling anyone else.
  • Someone points a gun at you and demands your money. What do you do? Give it to him/her! Never refuse a robber.
  • Remain calm. You will be able to give a better description to the police. Most robbers do not harm the victim.
  • Do not resist. Cooperate with the robber, but do not volunteer any information or do anything other than what he asks. He may be armed and may harm you or others if you do not cooperate. Listen carefully to him/her, and pay attention to the robber’s appearance and demeanor.
  • Try to avoid sudden moves. Many robbers are just as nervous as you are.
  • Give the robber the marked money, if you can, without letting him know what you are doing.
  • The most important thing to do if you’re robbed is to do as you’re told and try to observe. The description of the suspect that you give to the police may be the only information they have to work with.

Steps to Take After a Robbery

  • Wait until the suspect has left the store and then sound the alarm.
  • Call 9-1-1.  Tell the dispatcher the name and address of your business.  Give a brief description of the suspect and the suspect’s vehicle if known.
  • Ask customers to stay and wait for the police.
  • When your witnesses have agreed to stay, lock the doors until the police arrive.
  • Preserve the crime scene and make sure the witnesses are aware that they should not touch anything that the suspect may have touched.
  • Ask all witnesses and staff members to write down their observations of the suspect description.

For additional information, contact the Omaha Police Business Watch Squad at 444-6518 or e-mail.