How to Stay Safe During a Robbery: The 8 Tips Jewelers Need to Know
As hard as you work to prevent a robbery, sometimes you can’t avoid this nightmare. To increase your chances of staying safe, we recommend sharing with your staff the safety tips shown below.
Remember, no amount of merchandise or cash is worth your life. Goods can be replaced; your life, and the lives of your staff and customers, cannot.
These eight tips will guide you on how to stay safe during a robbery:
Expect to be scared.
A robbery is a terrifying situation. In seeking to create as much fear as possible, the robber will make threats. He or she will probably brandish a weapon and may even tie you up or place you in a back room or bathroom. Try to stay calm and do exactly as you’re told.
Give in quickly.
Give the robber what he or she wants right away. Stalling or arguing with a robber can be a life-threatening mistake. If the robber demands merchandise, cash, or even your vehicle, hand it over quickly.
Stay out of sight.
If you’re in a back room or other place where a robber hasn’t seen you, do not intrude on the crime scene. Stay right where you are and remain quiet.
When a robbery is in progress, it is best not to hit your panic button or holdup alarm. Wait until the robber has left and you’ve locked the door. If you activate it and police arrive during the robbery, you could create a dangerous hostage situation.
As soon as the thief has left, lock the doors and call the police — even if you’ve activated your alarm. Do not unlock or open your doors until the police arrive. Tend to anyone who is injured, and call an ambulance if needed.
While others may wish to leave immediately, it’s important that everyone remain in place to help with the police investigation. If witnesses who observed the robbery insist on leaving, obtain their names, phone numbers, and other contact information so police can interview them.
Don’t touch anything.
Make sure no one disturbs the crime scene. Fingerprints and other identifying elements can help police reconstruct what happened and find clues about the perpetrator, so try to remember anything the robber touched.
While you and others will likely want to talk about what happened, it’s important that you don’t influence each other’s memories or cast doubt. Ask everyone to write down detailed notes as quickly as possible about the robber and the incident.
Take care of yourself.
Once the police have left, the incident may be far from over in your mind. People who experience a robbery often experience sudden and strong feelings. You might find yourself fluctuating between feeling in control and feeling anxious or overwhelmed.
Victims of a robbery can experience flashbacks even months or years later. Don’t try to deal with these feelings alone. Talk with friends, family, or a religious leader. If flashbacks and anxiety are interfering with your home or family life, consider getting professional counseling.