What to Do If You’re in a Store That’s Being Robbed

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Criminals aren’t picky these days, and robberies can happen anywhere at any time. Whether it’s in an expensive boutique or a small convenience store at the street corner, the chances of getting caught up in a robbery are never zero; yes, even if you are in a relatively “safe” neighborhood.

With this in mind, it pays to be prepared for this kind of nightmare situation. While we all hope to never have to encounter this scenario in our lives, you never know when you’ll be unfortunate enough to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. So, in case you run into this type of situation, here are important things to remember:

Do not try to be a hero

Businesses such as Joseph Chiarello & Co., Inc Firearms Business Insurance agree that burglary can happen to any commercial property, which is why almost all establishments have some form of coverage against criminal activity.

That said, during a robbery is not the right time to test your skills at de-escalation or martial arts. No matter how much you are fond of the store owner and don’t want them to lose money, it’s not worth risking harm to yourself or others. Most businesses are insured anyway, so you shouldn’t feel compelled to try and intervene for the store’s sake. And if you want to protect the other people present, the best way to do so is to cooperate with the robber, which brings us to our next point.

Move away from the area


In a robbery, the robber will likely be focused on the cash register. While their attention is occupied, put as much distance as you can between you and that area–but do it slowly. Don’t make any sudden movements and appear non-threatening by putting your hands up. Don’t run either, no matter how tempting it might be. A sudden movement may catch the robber’s attention and have them turn their focus on you.

Remain calm and cooperate

Remaining calm in a highly stressful situation like this is not easy, but it can mean the difference between life and death. If you find yourself in this scenario, do not run or make any sudden movements. Try your best to stay calm, breathe, and center your focus on what the robber is doing and saying. If the robber asks you to do something, cooperate. No amount of valuables is worth losing your life for.

Make mental notes

While the robbery is in place, memorize as many descriptions of the robber as you can, including their approximate height, race, hair color, eye color, age, clothing, accent, and unique features. If they have tattoos, take note of what the design is. If their face is covered by a mask, pay attention to their height, clothing, eye color, their weapon, and even the brand of their shoes.

If they drive off in a car, try and remember the model, color, and license plate number as well. If they are not wearing gloves, make mental notes of what they touch to help police find fingerprints.

Of course, no one expects you to remember everything about a robber during this extremely stressful situation. However, try to take note of as many things as you can so that you can include them in your report. Moreover, you may want to write down your mental notes after the incident is over; it can be easy for information to get muddled up in your brain after the adrenaline has worn off.

Find a safe place after the incident before making a report

Once you are sure that the robber is gone, seek a safe location immediately. If you are in a relatively isolated area, go somewhere more populated before making your report. But if you decide to remain at the scene, lock the doors and find a safe spot with other witnesses as you wait for the police to arrive.

Witnesses may not be obligated to stay at the scene of a robbery. If they must leave, write down their personal information so that the police can contact them for further investigation.

When you get caught up in a robbery at the store, you have to keep your wits about to stay as safe as possible. And by knowing these things, you are less likely to blank out and do something wrong if you encounter this situation in the future, which hopefully does not happen.

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