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What to Do If You Get Involved in a Robbery

It seems unlikely that we will ever experience a robbery, so we rarely think about what to do in this situation. If we do, it’s probably when we’re watching action movies and everything seems to be self-explanatory there. However, when we deal with it face-to-face, things start to get complicated.

Bright Side is on a mission to enlighten you about what to do during a robbery. In the bonus section, we’ll tell you how one person coped with theft.

1. Don’t play the hero.

It’s better to set aside your heroic intentions and just avoid any kind of confrontation. Those who try to tackle a robber only escalate the situation and make them even more violent. Even if they seem unarmed or there’s only one of them, don’t try to copy Bruce Willis. Robbers may have a weapon — you’re just not able to see it.

2. Don’t make any sudden movements.

Every sudden movement can be considered a possible attack. Pretty often, robbers are already uptight, and your unexpected move can cause an accident. If you need to change your position, tell the robbers what you’re going to do in advance so that it doesn’t come as a surprise to them.

3. Notice the details.

Pay attention to the robbers. However, do so surreptitiously. The information can help the police find criminals faster. Notice their height, body features, posture, smell, or even shoes.

Even the most trivial thing can turn out to be crucial. Additionally, memorize where they left their fingertips and make sure you don’t touch any evidence.

4. Inform them of any surprises.

Tell the robber if you’re expecting someone. Otherwise, a startled perpetrator can suddenly become violent. By hiding information, you endanger the lives of other people who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

5. Avoid prolonged eye contact.

It’s useful to memorize any details about the robbers. However, don’t give yourself away by blatantly staring. The robbers will understand what you’re doing. It’s better to take quick glances.

Another reason to not have prolonged eye contact is that the robbers might think you’re not only trying to memorize their features but also identify them.

6. Give them what they ask for.

Most of the time, robbers demand money, so give it to them. The New Westminster Police Department advises keeping it cool and avoiding fighting off a robber. It’s not worth risking your life over money, rings, or diamonds. You will earn back your salary, but you will never be able to buy a new life or body.

If you still don’t feel like giving away your possessions, at least make sure you don’t carry a lot of cash with you or divide all of your valuables over different pockets.

Bonus:

In college, a guy asked me for my wallet and was trying to mug me. Although I realize it was stupid, I feigned complete naivety and said I had my wallet and money for him back at my dorm and I would really like to give it to him to help him out.

He walked me back to my dorm, I went inside, called the police, and they arrested him while he was waiting outside for me. The guy had mugged tons of students and was a nuisance and didn’t realize my wallet was in my back pocket the entire time. ©ROUS_Do_Exist / Reddit

Have you ever experienced a robbery? What would you do if you happened to be in this kind of situation?

Please note: This article was updated in February 2022 to correct source material and factual inaccuracies.
Bright Side/Tips & tricks/What to Do If You Get Involved in a Robbery
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