When Robbery Prevention Isn't Enough: What to Do During an Attack
If you’re a retail jeweler who specializes in luxury watches, now is not the time to let your guard down.
The Jewelers Security Alliance reported 30 smash-and-grabs and 40 gunpoint robberies during the first half of 2016 — some of which have occurred at businesses in upscale locations with extensive security.
While the FBI, ATF, and local law enforcement continue to do a tremendous job in arresting some suspects, new crews of individuals are emerging to take their place.
Photo Credit: Jewelers Security Alliance
Don’t assume that your business won’t be targeted because crime hasn’t recently occurred in your area. These directed crews will travel great lengths to case a jeweler they believe to be an easy target and may even decide to attempt a robbery against harder targets.
When robbery prevention isn’t enough, these are some potentially lifesaving tips to follow during an attack:
Rule #1 – Don’t resist
Whether it’s a smash-and-grab or an armed robbery, criminals want to avoid conflict and use fear as their weapon of choice.
Since your options during an armed robbery are strictly limited, it's imperative that you explicitly follow the robber's instructions. Try to remain calm and set an example for your associates and customers who may be in the store at the time of robbery.
Aim to get the robbers out of your store as quickly as possible by being fully cooperative. This includes giving in quickly, following their directions, and not trying to intervene. Even an attempt to contact police or activate a hold up alarm could aggravate the robbers and lead to an even more dangerous situation.
Rule #2 – Take mental notes discreetly
Staring down the intruders in an attempt to memorize them or their vehicle is easily noticeable and could anger them.
Any observations you can make with regard the appearance of the robbers for later identification can only be done when and if it safe for you to do so.
Rule #3 – Don’t follow the robbers after they leave
Much like staring them down during the crime, an attempt to follow their escape could escalate into a more dangerous situation. Wait to ensure they have completely vacated your premises entirely and only then should you proceed to lock all doors and call the police.
Afterwards, confirm the wellbeing of your associates and customers, addressing any injuries that may have occurred. Expect to remain scared and in disbelief of what just happened, but try to focus your energy on recounting the mental notes that you took and getting others to document their observations as well.
When police arrive, give them as much accurate information as possible and let them track down the criminals — not you or another person at the scene of the crime.
Don’t forget to take the appropriate steps to recover emotionally after the robbery. As a Jewelers Mutual policyholder, you can take advantage of a counseling service benefit that allows you to relieve stress rather than relive it.