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SPD Home / Business Security / Robbery Prevention

ROBBERY PREVENTION

Prevention measures

Keep a Clear View from Outside

    • Make sure you and your cash register are clearly visible from outside. Create a "fishbowl" look. Limit use of window signs and floor displays. If you can see out easily, passer-bys and police can see in.

Keep Cash Register Money to a Minimum

    • Place large bills in a drop safe or other secure device as soon as you get them.
    • Ask customers if they have exact change or smaller bills. This will help you minimize the money in your register.
    • Record the serial number of several bills ("bait money") that are given out only in the event of a robbery.

Turn all Lighting on at Night

    • Be certain you have adequate inside and outside lighting. Eliminate any dark areas.
    • Utilize photo sensors to insure lights come on at night.
    • Replace burnt out bulbs promptly.

Keep your Business Looking Neat and Clean

    • A neat and clean environment is great for business but uncomfortable for most robbers.
    • When not making a sale, stay away from the register. Most robbers do not like to spend the extra time it takes to bring you back to the sales counter.

Keep Alert

    • Know what is happening outside as well as inside your business.
    • Watch for loiterers and ask them to leave.
    • Greet everyone who enters your business.
    • Don't be afraid to call police (911) when you see suspicious persons or activity.

IF YOU ARE ROBBED

Cooperate with the Robber

  • Do exactly as you are told. If you don't understand what you are being told to do, ask.
  • Give the robber(s) what they want. Don't argue.
  • Don't move too quickly or reach for anything. Tell the robber(s) what you are doing.
Keep it Short and Smooth
  • The longer the robbery takes the more nervous the robber is.
  • The average robbery takes less than 2 minutes.
Don't Resist
  • Don't fight.
  • Don't use weapons.
  • Don't chase the robber(s).
Be Observant
  • Observe the person(s) involved for the purpose of describing clothing and physical features.
  • Observe the person or persons' means of escape, direction of travel and description of vehicle.
Call Police (9-1-1) After the Robbery is Over
  • Stay on the phone until police tell you to hang up.
  • Record the suspect(s) description on an "I.D." form or piece of paper.
Protect the Crime Scene
  • Don't touch anything. There may be suspect(s) finger prints or other physical evidence crucial to the investigation.

BUSINESS SURVEY

Employee Training

  1. Do you train employees in crime reduction procedures?
  2. Do all your employees know how your security equipment functions?
Safe Procedures
  1. Do you have an above ground safe?
  2. Is your safe bolted to the floor?
  3. Is your safe near the register and visible to customers?
Visibility
  1. Are windows blocked by signs, displays or other materials?
  2. Is the cashier clearly visible from outside the business?
  3. Would the robber also be visible from outside?
  4. Are proper trespassing/loitering/parking signed posted?
Cash Handling Procedures
  1. Are there drawer limits for cashiers?
  2. Is a drop safe available?
  3. Is you change fund secured?
  4. Do you hide money?
  5. Do you perform random till checks or cash audits?
Bank Deposits
  1. Do you use an armored car service?
  2. Do you have a secure counting room?
  3. Does your counting room have adequate locks, a phone and a door peephole?
  4. Do you vary the times of your trips to the bank?
  5. Do you vary your route to the bank?
  6. Do you disguise your bank deposit bag?
Lighting
  1. Do all exterior lights work properly?
  2. Do all interior lights work properly?
  3. Are lights turned off or on at appropriate times?
  4. Is there adequate lighting inside your business?
  5. Is there adequate lighting outside your business including the side and rear areas?
Security Equipment
  1. Does your store use video surveillance equipment?
  2. Does your equipment have a date/time generator?
  3. Is there a video monitor placed where a potential robber can see it?
  4. Are your VCR and video tapes secured?
  5. Have you checked the position of your cameras?
  6. Do you regularly clean your camera lenses and VCR head?
  7. Is the resolution on your video system good?
  8. Do you have a panic alarm?
  9. Do you have a robbery alarm?
  10. Can all exterior doors be easily locked?
Miscellaneous
  1. Is the telephone readily accessible to the cashier?
  2. Do you report all crimes to police?
  3. Do you encourage police to visit your store?
  4. How many times have you been robbed in the last 12 months?
 
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SEATTLE POLICE DEPARTMENT
Headquarters: 610 5th Avenue,
Seattle, WA 98124-4986
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