I have been robbed. Now what?

If you own your own business there is always a chance you will get robbed. If this has happened to your store what will you do next?

After a burglary or a robbery

  • Stay calm. Keep your focus to keep control. You have reviewed this possibility with your staff and they will look to you for direction. Your behavior will give your employees an good example to follow.
  • Watch the thief as he/she leaves the store. If you have a height strip on the door then use that otherwise look at the thief's height in relation to an object nearby.
  • Is the thief going to a getaway car or joining up with other people?
  • Loudly and clearly state to another member of the staff that you have been robbed. If not already in progress, this should start post-robbery actions.
  • Call 911 right away. Use the hold-up button as a backup if this what you have determined is your procedure.
  • Close all the doors and lock them up tight. This will prevent the thief from returning and creating a hostage situation.
  • Attend to any staff or customers who are injured or traumatized. Only give water to drink and provide comfort and necessary medical help.
  • Remember CSI on television! Do not touch anything. Stay well back from the robbery area as the police will be looking for evidence and dusting for fingerprints.
  • No one should leave until the police arrive. Everyone will have to give a statement. There is always a chance of the "inside man" so the police should decide who gets to leave and who stays.
  • Hand out paper to everyone and have them write out a description of the robber(s). Do not discuss what you are writing with anyone else.
  • Consider closing the store/office for the rest of the day. There are things that need to be done such as determining what has been stolen. Your employees will need some time to recover and act normally. The police are going to be busy investigating the scene.
  • Do not check the security cameras to see what images were captured during the burglary. This is better done by experts.
  • Make sure that each staff member has someone with them when it is time to leave. Customers also should have someone escort them home and should not be left alone.
  • If the media gets involved then refer all phone calls to the police or management. Do not discuss the amount of the money or goods that have been stolen. If you are management then remember your four "C's" - candour, credibility, clarity and commitment, It is also important that you show you care about the staff and customers who have been affected by the robbery.
  • Set up trauma counseling for everyone involved.

Contact your insurance agent or broker to start the claims procedure. You will want to review your policy to see what is available for restoring your lost funds. The interruption of your business and resulting loss in income can also be addressed by insurance.