Robbery occurs less often than other business crimes, but the potential for loss, injury, and death is much greater from a single incident. Employees should be trained to protect themselves and the business by reporting any suspicious person or activity immediately and by making notes for future reference.
Business plans and security related information should be on a “need to know” basis only. Caution employees against divulging security information to anyone who has not been cleared by you. Keep employees away from the register when not in use. They should stay busy with other tasks. Every person who enters the store should be acknowledged and greeted in a friendly manner. The presence of alert, efficient, and capable employees will discourage a thief.
Opening and Closing
Use a staggered method of opening and closing. While one employee enters the premises and determines if it is safe, a second monitors from a safe distance outside. When signaled, the second employee is let in by the first. A similar procedure is used at closing.
Maximize visibility into and out of transaction areas by keeping windows clear. Keep your business interior and exterior well-lit.
Make your address easily visible to emergency units Control the entry to your business at all times. Everyone, including delivery men and employees, should enter through a monitored entrance. Keep all other doors locked.
Do not allow customers or non-employees inside after hours. Be especially wary of anyone seeking entry before opening or after closing. Beware of emergency calls or attempts to get you to open your business outside of regular hours. Install security cameras at all exits and put height markers on the door trim to aid in descriptions.
Make bank deposits often. Use an armored car service or take different routes to the bank each day and at different times of the day. If making a deposit personally, never do so late at night. Carry monies and other items for deposit inconspicuously inside your clothing. In some jurisdictions, you may ask about a police escort.
Keep a small amount of cash on hand and use a drop safe (which can not be opened by employees on duty) for large bills and excess cash. Place notice of this fact, along with a robbery awareness poster, where any would-be robber will see them.
- Do not work alone. If you must, leave a radio or television playing in a back room to give the impression that someone else is present.
- If you operate an all-night establishment, such as a convenience store, employees should never work alone. Always have at least two employees on-duty at all times.
- Keep a sheet of paper handy to record a description of the suspect as soon as possible.
- Lock the business and do not allow anyone to enter or leave before the police arrive.
- Protect the crime scene. Do not touch or move anything unless it is absolutely necessary.