Robbery Prevention for Convenience Store Owners & Operators

Security and Safety are important elements in the convenience store industry. Providing fast and convenient service, in a safe and friendly environment, is the goal of all owners and operators.  Most stores have never been robbed. By following good procedures and practices chances of being robbed are even less.One of the best security practices available is to have policies and procedures in place.

  • Employees should be given a copy of store policies and procedures, and receive training 
  • Follow good procedures and practices 

Opening And Closing The Store

  • Two people should open the store
  • One person check the building for anything suspicious, including suspicious people, while the other opens the store.  Remain alert at all times 
  • Once inside, lock all doors until you are ready to open for business
  • When closing, check all areas of the store for anyone remaining inside
  • Lock all the doors and don’t let anyone in once the store is closed 
  • Employees should leave together 

Cash Handling

  • Keep cash drawer closed at all times 
  • Keep small amounts of cash in the register at all times 
  • Don’t open it unnecessarily, such as to make change.
  • Do not count money in an open area 

Bank Deposits

  • Always cash out your drawer 
  • Make bank deposits at various times
  • Do not use a bag with a bank logo
  • If possible have another person go with you, do not make any stops in between 

Security Devices 

  • All store operators need to know the location of the alarm and how to arm/disarm them
  • Name and phone number of the alarm company readily available
  • Be sure to use the panic alarm as directedby management 
  • Store owners should invest in a good quality camera system—learn how to operate and maintain the unit 
  • Routinely check to ensure cameras are focused on the cash register 
  • Keep the recorder separate in a secure location 

Lighting 

  • Keep the store well-lit: inside and out 
  • Check lights frequently and develop a maintenance schedule to keep them  working properly
  • Be sure to adjust the timer as needed to accommodate for daylight hours 

Visibility

  • Keep the cash area clear to eliminate counter clutter 
  • Remove displays on counter that may hide a robber from outside observers 
  • Keep the windows clear from displays and signs 
  • Signs and Displays should be below three feet and above six feet 
  • The interior of the store should also be kept open with Isles FREE of displays and signs 
  • Employees should remain alert and observant at ALL TIMES 
  • Watch for suspicious activity, people vehicles  or fights on the premises
  • If something looks out of the ordinary—Call the Boston Police:  9-1-1

What To Do To Reduce Your Chance Of Being Injured During A Robbery

  • Threat of violence during a robbery is real
  • A suspect is going to be very nervous, so, don’t do anything unexpected that might cause the suspect to over react 
  • Remain calm 
  • Do as the robber requests 
  • Do not resist 
  • Do not attempt to use a weapon 
  • Do not lie to the robber—tell him you don’t know how to do something, if you know  how to do it, etc.
  • Don’t stare at the robber 
  • Stay in the store and lock the door once  the robber leaves 
  • Be a good witness 
  • Make notes of the key characteristics of the robber: 
    • Build: Heavy, Medium, Muscular, Thin
    • Short or Tall
    • Hair length and color
    • Race
    • Facial hair
    • Tattoos
    • What kind of weapon did he use
    • Was there a getaway vehicle
    • Direction of flight of the suspect

After A Robbery 

  • Stay inside the store and lock the doors
  • Call the police immediately (FIRST)
  • Assist customers that were in the store during the robbery
  • Ask everyone to stay calm until the police arrive 
  • Have them think about what they saw 
  • Do your best to preserve the crime scene 
  • Do not touch or move anything that the suspect handled 
  • While waiting for the police to arrive, record everything you can remember about the incident 
  • Practice and follow your store’s emergency procedures, you increase your chance of survival 
  • Remember: Stay calm, don’t resist, cooperate fully, don’t lie, and don’t stare
  • Have a plan, review it often, and know what to do

REMEMBER: The more information you provide to the police, the better equipped the police will be in apprehending and prosecuting the suspect.