Procedures During a Robbery

Proper employee training of the procedures to follow during a robbery is vital to surviving the confrontation.  Conduct documented training and discussion periods so that every worker knows his or her part and has a chance to ask questions.  A few minutes of brief review on a regular basis will help to ensure the proper reaction in case of a robbery.  The overriding consideration in dealing with a robbery is to reduce the possibility of injury.

  • Do not resist the robber. The money is not worth risking a life.  Take no action that would jeopardize the safety of personnel or customers.  Cooperate with the robber and do not try to become a hero.  Robbers almost never hurt anyone who cooperates.
  • Do not use weapons against the robber.  Introducing another weapon into the situation increases the chances of someone becoming injured during the robbery.  No amount of money is worth the risk of endangering a person’s life.
  • Inform the robber of any surprises.  If someone is expected back soon or if you must reach or move in any way, tell the robber what to expect so they will not be startled.  A suspicious move by an employee may trigger a violet reaction by the robber and endanger the lives of many people.
  • Follow the robber’s commands, but do not volunteer to help.  The longer the robbery takes, the more nervous the robber may become and more apt to become violent.
  • Only give the amount demanded, if asked for a specific amount.
  • Include bait money with the cash.  This “bait money” could be a bundle of currency with recorded serial numbers (record the denomination, serial number and year of several tens and twenties on a piece of paper kept separate from the register) or concealed dye packs.  The silent alarm may be designed to activate by the removal of the bait money.
  • Keep calm.  
  • Gun.  If the robber displays a firearm or claims to have one, consider it loaded and dangerous to your life.
  • Activate the hold-up alarm, without being obvious to the robber, and alert other employees by using prearranged signals.
  • Be observant.  Plan to be a good witness.  Try to notice as much as possible about the robber.  Make mental notes on the following:
    • The robber’s physical characteristics, including: race, sex, height, weight, facial features (head shape, hair color, eye color, shape of eyes, nose and mouth, etc.) speech patterns (i.e., accents), scars, marks and/or deformities, right or left-handed.  Any unusual smells about the person, i.e., drinking, smoke, etc.
    • The number of robbers and their clothing description, as well as any names used by the robbers.
    • Any peculiarities shown by the robber (i.e., smelled of alcohol, appeared to be “high” on drugs, etc.).
    • Description of any weapons used.  Try to notice barrel length, barrel color, color of grips, whether a pistol is automatic or a revolver.

  • If the robber uses a note, place out of sight to retain as evidence.
  • After the robber has the money, offer to have employees and customers lie down instead of waiting for the robber to decide what to do such as knocking you down or tying you up.