Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commissions

Maryland Community Crime Prevention Institute



Wouldn't you agree that a robbery is a dangerous situation for everyone involved? Robberies are over in less than two minutes.

What you do in those two minutes of time could make the longest two minutes of your life, or the last two minutes of your life. Your number one priority in any crime is personal safety!

Remember: If the robber demands cash or property, give it up! It's not worth injury or death.

No one likes to think about becoming a victim of a crime. However, the time to think about a robbery is before it happens. Remember, crimes against business are usually crimes of opportunity. If you make it easy for someone to target your business for a robbery, chances are someone will. So don't make it easy. Make it risky and unrewarding.

Develop a plan for what to do before, during and after a robbery, and regularly check to see that policy and procedures are communicated and followed.


Install good lighting both inside as well as outside of your business.

Keep your business clean and free of clutter.

Escape Routes
Locate and eliminate any potential escape routes or hiding places for a robber.

Never restrict the view either into or out of your business with signs or displays on the windows or door. Always maintain maximum visibility.

The best defense against the crime of ARMED ROBBERY is to make your business and employees more security conscious. Make sure you and your employees know your responsibility before, and after an armed robbery.

Keep alert at all times, checking for loiterers or people watching your business. Greet and make eye contact with everyone who enters your business.

Cash Control
Keep a minimal amount of cash on hand. Less than $50.00 is ideal, and use of a drop safe is advisable. Make frequent cash pickups, and never count the cash at the counter area.

Should be centrally located within the business and easily seen by customers as well as passers-by.

Bank Runs
Should be made at alternate times and routes. Try to use a variety of containers to carry the cash in and whenever possible try a different courier to make the bank runs.

Two People
Establish a policy of using two people to open and close your business; use a set of pre-arranged signals for "ALL CLEAR."

Mark & Post
Mark doorways with proper height markings, post your minimum cash policy and the penalty for ARMED ROBBERY .


Stay Calm
Keep calm: let the robber know that you intend to cooperate.
Don't make any sudden moves.

Warn the robber of any surprises such as an employee in back, delivery people, or a customer about to enter the business.

Do What You're Told
Don't argue. Obey all the robber's orders. Keep all communication with the robber short and simple.

Give It Up
Turn the money over to the robber. Try to treat this as if it was just another business transaction.

Don't Try To Be A Hero
Remember whether a robber produces a weapon or not, you must assume that the robber is armed and that the robber has the advantage and controls the scene. More importantly he/she will not hesitate to use it. Do not fight the robber or use a weapon - violence will only increase everyone's personal risk.

The time to push the ALARM is AFTER the robber has left your business.


Don't Follow
Do not follow or try to chase the robber. NOW PUSH THE HOLD UP ALARM!

Observe as much as you can about the robber's physical features and mannerisms - type of weapon used - the route and means of escape - the type of vehicle MAKE-MODEL-COLOR so you can accurately describe them to the police.

Report It
Immediately report it to the police. DO NOT hang up the telephone until the police arrive.

Lock up and Protect
Lock the door and protect the crime scene. Separate all employees and customers, do not let them discuss the robbery until the police arrive. Have them write down what they observed.

Cooperate fully with authorities.
Do not disclose to anyone other than the police the amount taken in the crime.

For more information, contact your local Police/Sheriff,
or the Maryland Community Crime Prevention Institute.

A brochure version of this document is available upon request from the Maryland Community Crime Prevention Institute. An exact reproduction of this Commercial Armed Robbery brochure is also available online. The Adobe Acrobat Reader may be downloaded free of charge to view or print this document.

For more information, contact:

Maryland Community Crime Prevention Institute
3085 Hernwood Road
Woodstock, MD 21163-1099
1-800-303-8802 or 410-203-1006

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Revised: March 4, 2002
(C) 2002 Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commissions
of Public Safety and Correctional Services
Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services