Welcome to the newest post in our blog series, Darren’s Great Ideas! for Independent Operators.
What To Do If Your Truckstop Is Robbed
As referenced in my last blog post on Eight Tips to Prevent Robbery at Your Truckstop, even if you are executing every preventive measure that is available to you and your staff, it is still possible to be robbed.
Consequently, it is important for every truckstop to have a robbery policy and procedure program in place should a robbery ever happen as not being prepared could have dire results.
The following general recommendations should be used in conjunction with your own company’s robbery action plan. At a minimum, use these recommendations to create the appropriate site-specific plan for your operation.
Important note: Be sure to ask your local law enforcement for their recommendations before following these recommendations.
- The best way to ensure the safety of your staff and your customers is to get the robber out of your store as soon as possible. Everything in your store, including money, can be replaced, but a life cannot be. Get the robber out of the store as quickly as possible. Never resist. The less time a robber is inside your establishment, the less likely someone on the premises will be injured.
- During the robbery, you should comply with all the robber’s demands EXCEPT leaving the location with the robber. Be careful to not make any movements that can be perceived by the robber as threatening.
- Try to explain everything you are doing, and if possible repeat back the robber’s instructions as you are doing what they have asked so it is clear to the robber you are complying with the demands set forth. An example would be to say, “I am placing the money in a bag as asked.”
- Try to avoid looking straight at or starring at the robber. They may react with aggression if they think you are trying to identify them. As referenced in the prevention blog, robbers to not want to be identified, hence the reason why it is so critical to greet all customers.
- Robbers often react violently when caught off guard or surprised. Thus, avoid startling them. Let the robber know of others within your store, such as staff and customers and anyone working outside, who may suddenly appear and set off a violent chain reaction.
Never leave the store for any reason, including trying to get more vehicle information. The robber may perceive you as a threat as you exit the store.
Never chase after the robber. Everything in your store, including money can be replaced, a life cannot be. Let the robber go and allow law enforcement the opportunity to do what they are professionally trained to do.
After the robber has left the store, you should at a minimum do the following:
- Call 911 to report the robbery.
- Call your manager, district manager and/or owner.
- Lock the front door and do not allow anyone to enter the store.
- Do not touch anything that the robber may have touched so that you can preserve any potential evidence.
- Ask anyone within the store to immediately write down what they witnessed. DO NOT SPEAK TO ONE ANOTHER WHEN YOU ARE WRITING. Each person will be able to reference something of value the others may or may not have witnessed. Speaking to one another during your note taking can impact what you describe.
- You should write done everything you have witnessed as well without speaking to others within the store.
The notes that you and any others witness to the crime should at a minimum consist of a description of the robber, included:
- The robber’s estimated height, using your location’s door mounted height identifiers;
- The robber’s estimated weight, using your own weight as a starting point;
- description of their clothing;
- Their race;
- Any distinguishing traits such as glasses, scars, tattoos, limp, body piercing, etc.; and
- If it was easily identifiable, the make, model color, distinguishing markings/traits and license number of vehicle.
/// Read more Darren's Great Ideas for Independent Operators posts here.
Join the conversation! Have you ever had a robbery at your truckstop? What recommendations are we missing?
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