What is a Robbery?

A robbery occurs when someone uses violence or threats of violence to a person or property during a theft (i.e., stealing property under threat or use of force).

A Guide for Business Owners, Managers & Employees
The threat of a robbery is a something every business owner and their employees may face. Though every business is potentially a target, business owners can take steps to ensure robberies are prevented. In the event that a business is robbed, owners can also provide their employees with important information to minimize the impact of a robbery on themselves and customers. Below are some important robbery prevention tips.

What to do:


  • Provide employees with training on what to do in the event of a robbery.
  • Avoid having staff working alone, particularly at night. Become familiar with WorkSafe BC regulations regarding working alone and implement safe work practices.
  • Maintain sight lines - keep windows free from obstructions, advertising, etc.
  • Provide proper lighting both inside and outside your business.
  • Greet customers as they enter and make eye contact.
  • Limit cash on hand. Avoid keeping large amounts of cash on the premises.
  • Make frequent deposits, preferably in pairs/teams, but stagger deposit times.
  • Place height markers (i.e., height strips) at entrances and exits.
  • Put together a robbery box containing suspect ID sheets, extra door keys, first aid kit, pens and other useful items. Keep it where it is easily accessible.


  • Try to remain calm.
  • Don’t make sudden moves.
  • Never argue - cooperate and comply with the robber’s demands.
  • Never assume a robber isn’t armed.
  • Try to pay close attention to what the robber looks like. Don’t stare, just observe.
  • Only activate a panic alarm if it is safe to do so.
  • Don’t be a hero!


  • Lock the door as quickly as possible after the suspect departs.
  • Try to observe the direction of travel of the suspect.
  • Dial 9-1-1.
  • Place a sign on the door indicating Temporarily Closed.
  • Try to preserve any evidence.
  • Identify any Witnesses.
  • Do not discuss the incident with other witnesses.
  • Being the victim of a robbery can be traumatic; seek counseling if required.

Visit your local community police District Office for additional business security tips and resources.

Incident Checklist

  • Date:
  • Time:
  • Location:
  • Suspect Vehicle: License #
  • Vehicle Model:
  • Colour:
  • Type:
  • Direction of Travel:
  • Suspect Person:
  • Sex:
  • Age:
  • Height:
  • Race:
  • Complexion:
  • Eye Colour:
  • Eye Shape:
  • Hair Colour:
  • Length:
  • Hair Style:
  • Build:
  • Beard/Moustache:
  • Tattoos/Scars:
  • Jewellry/Body Piercing:
  • Glasses:
  • Accent:
  • Clothing:
  • Hat: Emblem/Logo:
  • Shoe Style/Colour:
  • Jacket /Shirt Style:
  • Jacket/Shirt Colour:
  • Pants/Shorts Colour:
  • Type of Weapon: