How to Keep Yourself Safe During a Robbery

Crime can strike anywhere.

Numerous violent assaults and robberies in the valley this year have shown that.
What can be done to keep you safe, when danger could come at any time?

There are a lot of things people can do to cut down on their risk.

Local businesses also say they’re doing everything they can to keep customers safe if a robbery occurs.
“That doesn’t happen here, or that doesn’t happen to somebody else. Well you’re somebody else’s somebody else,” explains security specialist Tak Windham.
Somebody else has been in the wrong place at the wrong time a lot lately.

A man knocked out and robbed at a restaurant.

A woman dragged on the ground by her purse at a grocery story.

A man robbed at gunpoint in North Fargo.

That’s just in the last month.
“It’s time for people to wake up,” Windham says.
Windham says people don’t pay enough attention to their personal safety.

“Don’t make yourself an easy target.”
He offers a list of tips to help keep yourself from becoming a victim.

One, pay attention to your surroundings.

Check into crime rates in your neighborhood. Look for things that are out of the ordinary.
“I’m looking for people that aren’t dressed right for the weather,” Windham says. “If it’s 100 degrees outside and the guy’s got a trench coat on, maybe I don’t want to be there.”

Aside from paying attention to your surroundings, security experts say there are some things they should be doing that a lot of them surprisingly aren’t.

Something as simple as always carrying your cell phone so you can reach out in an emergency.
If you’re present when a robbery or assault breaks out, the best bet is to make yourself scarce. Leave if you can, or try to hide.
“Best thing to do is make yourself…a small target,” Windham says.
People at places like Gate City Bank, which can be the target of a robbery, spend a lot of time thinking about safety.
“Actually built into our buildings,” explains Jay Krabbenhoft, Senior VP of Office Services at Gate City.
The building has clear sight lines, so people can see what’s going on in an emergency.

Employees are also trained on how to keep customers and themselves safe in tense situations.

“Quarterly situations where we talk about what might happen, and what our roles are in an incident,” says Assistant Security Officer Robert Ross.
Krabbenfoft adds, “Employees at the retail offices have ways to communicate with the police department instantly if they have any kind of situation.”
From a personal to a professional level, staying safe takes a collaborative effort.
Windham says using violence to get out of a situation should only be a last resort.

He says even if you’re well trained with a weapon, using it during a crime or in a confined space can escalate a dangerous situation.

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