10 Things You Need to Know About Surviving a Robbery
Robbery of innocent citizens is too common in the US. If you are involved in a robbery, you need to know what to anticipate and how to conduct yourself. Following is a brief overview that may help survive a robbery and assist in catching the robber. If you want details on the methods and frequency of robberies, you can find a wealth of information in the FBI’s “Uniform Crime Reporting Program”. Note – Per the report a robbery is executed approximately every Minute is the US.
- OBEY THE ROBBER’S ORDERS: Robbers seldom hurt people who cooperate with them.
- TELL THE ROBBER ABOUT ANY POSSIBLE SURPRISES: When I open my drawer a beep will sound. I don’t carry large sums of money in cash. I don’t have access to cash drawers or safe, etc.
- DON’T ARGUE WITH THE ROBBER: Anyone who performs a robbery is capable of violence! Many robbers are heavy drug users and will not be coherent to anything outside of the act of the robbery. Remember that the robber is already afraid or nervous “Do not further elevate their anxiety levels”.
- DON’T FIGHT WITH THE ROBBER: It is only money. We only fight as a last resort to save life!
- DON’T USE WEAPONS: If you are not qualified or authorized, don’t use a weapon. If you must use a weapon or an alternative weapon to save your life be prepared to answer for the possible consequences: legal, physical, and mental.
- DON’T CHASE OR FOLLOW THE ROBBER: It escalates potential violence and if law enforcement arrives it may confuse the apprehension process. You may get caught in the crossfire.
- DON’T ESTIMATE ROBBERS CAPABILITY: If they say they are armed “Assume they are”. Don’t say “I can beat this guy”. Bruce Lee weighed only142 pounds and had extensive martial arts training. Bonnie Parker was 5’ tall and weighed 90 pounds (she was responsible for 13 deaths).
- ROBBERY HEROES: Every law enforcement official will tell you the same thing: the most heroic act you should take in a robbery is to notice details about the robber. Statistically, it is extremely risky (to yourself and others) to try to stop the robbery by force. As stated above, an increasing number of robbers are using powerful drugs during the robbery, which can provide extraordinary energy and ability to withstand pain.
- HELP PRESERVE THE EVIDENCE: After the robbery preserve the evidence! Do not to disturb any evidence left by the robber. Do not walk over to the area where the robber was, and certainly don’t touch anything that the robber touched (or left behind).
- KEEP THE FACTS STRAIGHT: It is possible that there will be other people with you. Each person has a unique perspective, and it’s likely that you will all remember the details a little bit differently. Try to keep these differences intact and let investigators sort out any discrepancies. Don’t discuss with others about what you saw or heard until you have made you initial statement. Group sessions like this can make you second-guess or influence your recollection of events. Don’t let somebody change what you think you saw or heard.
In summary, during a robbery keep your head in the game. Just because you give in to a robber’s demands doesn’t mean you are giving up. You may lose money, jewelry, car etc. These are material things and can all be replaced “You cannot be replaced! You are uniquely a solo creation”. Stay in the moment with your mind in the game. Force yourself to make mental notes of the robber and any features or observations that may assist in apprehension.
Steve Skeen is the President of Threat Awareness Consultants. He is a retired CIA Special Operations Programs Officer/Para-military Skills Officer dedicated to countering the terrorist threat. He has trained with Delta Force members, Navy Seals and Incident Response Teams. He has trained CIA, NSA, FBI, DEA, military forces, university and schools to assist them in combating the terrorist and isolated shooter threat. Steve is a member of the International Association for Counterterrorism Security Professionals (IACSP) and is dedicated to educating the innocent on surviving a hostile or catastrophic event.