During A Robbery
Robbers know that money services businesses, just like banks, are a place that probably has a lot of money on hand and so MSBs can be targeted for robbery.
One way to help minimize the potential for robbery is to greet and recognize customers when they come in the door. You might say “hello”, “welcome” or simply make eye contact and smile if you are busy with others. The primary point of this is to communicate that your business is a place that provides service to its customers – you are alert and focused on customer service; a secondary point is to let potential robbers know that you are alert and can give a description if necessary. By making eye contact you become more a fellow human being and less a target.
The following general procedures can help to keep you and customers safe from harm during a robbery:
- Listen to the robber and follow instructions. The point is to get the robber out of the store as quickly as possible without anyone being injured or killed.
- Remain as calm as possible at all times. By remaining calm, you can be more observant and will be much less likely to jeopardize your life or that of another.
- If your business has installed a silent holdup alarm system, do not make any obvious attempts to trip the alarm. Activate the alarm as soon as possible, safety permitting.
- Give the robber the money that is demanded. The business should have insurance to help cover any potential losses; people are irreplaceable. Don’t volunteer extra or point out that there are additional cash drawers. Usually a robber will be satisfied with the contents of the drawer.
- Observe the robbers physical characteristics to the extent possible, safety permitting. As soon as practical after the event is over, you will want to record your observations.
- Some MSBs may borrow from bank’s playbook and maintain “bait money”. “Bait money” is normal currency for which the serial numbers have been recorded. In the event that funds are stolen and the police apprehend the criminal with the money, bait money can help establish that the money found with the suspect was stolen from the business. If you keep bait money, give it out with the rest of the drawer to the extent it is safe to do so.
By following these procedures, you can help to minimize the potential for harm in the event of a robbery.
As with opening and closing procedures, it is best for an MSB to consider their risks and document robbery procedures. Review them with new employees after hiring and periodically throughout the year during staff meetings. By doing so, you will help to be as well prepared as possible in the event of a robbery.