Knowing what to do in the event of an armed robbery is the best defense. Most armed robberies are conducted by opportunists and can be prevented. Everything a victim or witness does from the time the robber enters and leaves the property is critical to their safety. A robber wants money and a quick getaway. Cooperate fully. Several University of Maryland University College properties have restaurant outlets, cashier booths, and a hotel front desk that could be a target.
The security department for the property or the police (911) must be immediately notified of an armed robbery. Once security or the police have been notified, the UMUC Director of Security must be informed.
Being prepared for an armed robbery can help prevent the robber from choosing our property.
- Lighting should be in accordance to university policy and properly maintained.
- Security patrols should be performed.
- Cash handling and drop procedures must be followed.
- Be alert and attentive.
- Report any suspicious behavior.
- Training on what to do in the event of an armed robbery should be performed.
- Lockdown procedures should be in place.
In The Event of an Armed Robbery
- Stay calm.
- Let them know you intend to cooperate.
- Follow their orders precisely and calmly, treating the whole situation as if it were just another transaction.
- If you must move or reach for something, inform the robber first so they'll know what to expect.
- Hit the alarm after the suspect has left and only when it is safe to do so.
- If you can, call security even if you have activated the alarm.
- Don’t focus on the weapon, but try to observe the surrounding area and observe every detail about the robber.
- Note the means and direction of the escape (if you can).
- Never resist.
- Never outwardly panic.
- Never scream, gesture, or do anything to call attention to the situation.
- Never smart-mouth the robber, argue with them, or try to fight them off.
- Never assume that a gun is not real, not loaded, or that a young and innocent-looking robber will not shoot you.
- Do not offer or volunteer more than is demanded.
- Make no sudden movements that may anger the robber or cause them to panic.
- Never follow a robber as he flees. You may be mistaken as another robber.
After a Robbery Has Occurred
- Secure the scene to preserve any evidence. Lock the doors, keep people away from the areas that the robbers were in, and keep any and all evidence that may have been left behind by the suspects.
- Immediately write down information about the incident—and specifically the robbers.
- Write a narrative regarding what happened and have anyone who saw what happened do the same.
- Only record factual information. Do not guess at anything you are unsure of, and do not share information with each other.
- Get as much information about the escapee without going after them:
- What means did they use?
- What direction did they go?
- Were there any accomplices?
- If they used a car, what was the make, model, and color or tag number?
- If people who saw what happened cannot stay, get their name, address, and telephone number for the police.
If someone looks out of place or suspicious, say "how are you doing" or "can I help you." If they are here on legitimate business, then they will not mind you asking if they need help.
Contact UMUC security if you witness any suspicious behavior or activity.