Tips to prevent robberies against businesses | Officer Jeff Harmon, Maple Valley Police Department

Tips to prevent robberies against businesses |Officer Jeff Harmon, Maple Valley Police Department

Robbery Prevention

Robbery doesn’t occur as often as other crimes against businesses, but the potential for loss can be much greater from a single incident. Also, robbery involves force or threat of force and can result in serious injury or death.

Greet every person who enters the business in a friendly manner. Personal contact can discourage a potential criminal.

Keep windows clear of displays or signs and make sure your business is well lighted. Check the layout of your store, eliminating any blind spots that may hide a robbery in progress.

Provide information about your security systems to employees only on a need-to-know basis. Instruct your employees to report any suspicious activity or person immediately and write down the information for future reference.

Place cash registers in the front section of the store. This increases the chances of someone spotting a robbery in progress and reporting it to the police.

Keep small amounts of cash in the register to reduce losses.

Use a drop safe into which large bills and excess cash are dropped by employees and cannot be retrieved by them. Post signs alerting robbers of this procedure.

Make bank deposits often and during business hours. Don’t establish a pattern, take different routes at different times during the day. Ask a police officer to escort you to the bank whenever possible.

Ask local law enforcement what to do in case you are robbed. Make sure your address is visible so emergency vehicles can easily find your business.

Remember, if you or your employees are confronted by a robber, cooperate. Merchandise and cash can always be replaced, but people can’t!

Shoplifting: Preventative Maintenance

Businesses lose billions of dollars each year to shoplifting, and then often must pass this loss on to the customers through higher prices.

  • Train employees how to reduce opportunities for shoplifting and how to apprehend shoplifters. Work with law enforcement to teach employees what actions may signal shoplifting.
  • Keep the store neat and orderly, use mirrors to eliminate blind spots in corners that might hide shoplifters. Merchandise should be kept away from store exits to prevent grab-and-run situations.
  • Keep displays full and orderly, so employees can see at a glance if something is missing. Keep expensive merchandise in locked cases. Limit the number of items employees remove at any one time for customers to examine.
  • Design the exits of the business so all persons must pass by security personnel or store employees. You may want to use an electronic article surveillance system or other inventory control devices.
  • The cash register should be inaccessible to customers, locked, and monitored at all times. Place it near the front of the store, so employees can also monitor customers coming and going.
  • Dressing rooms and rest rooms should be watched at all times. Keep dressing rooms locked and limit the number of items taken in.

Business crime statistics

  • Commercial Burglary




  • Trespass




  • Robbery




  • Vandalism