What to do in a mall robbery

Be alert when out shopping. File imagine.

The brazen attempted armed robbery at Lambton Court on Monday and other recent armed mall robberies at other shopping centres have highlighted the importance of knowing what to do to stay safe in these instances.

Generally these robbers are always armed, so if one is ever caught in the middle of a heist it is essential to stay calm.

Fidelity ADT advised customers to always be on the lookout for any suspicious activities and be aware of the people around them.

If you do find yourself caught in a mall robbery, Stuart Clarkson, managing executive Fidelity ADT provides the following advice:

If you are in the store that is being robbed:

  • Co-operate with robbers for your own safety. Listen to their instructions closely and follow their instructions.
  • Try and keep as calm as possible. Everyone reacts in a different way but try and breathe deeply until help arrives.
  • Do not use your cellphone whilst the robbery is in progress, this could agitate the assailants.
  • Immediately try and find a sheltered spot and keep low on the ground.
  • Take note of the assailants to pass information on to the authorities, for example, what they were wearing, any distinctive clothes, markings, jewellery etc. Try and remember what they look like, for example, height, weight etc.
  • Ensure your children are kept close to you at all times. Do not let children wander off while you are shopping.
  • Do not shop with large amounts of cash or valuables.

If you are not in the store being robbed:

  • Speak with the store personnel to firstly close the roller shutter doors. This is also standard operating procedures in many malls and move to the back of the store, out of sight.
  • Try and find a store closest to you and secure yourself as described above.
  • Do not try and exit via the standard entry and exit points as these are the same points the robbers will be using. Many malls now have standard operating procedures to lock down the mall.

Clarkson said crime is becoming more sophisticated, with inside information playing an increasingly prominent role.

“Whether you were in the store being robbed or just witnessed the incident in the centre, you should seek counselling, regardless of how you might feel. It often takes some time to experience and deal with the post-traumatic stress following such robberies,” said Clarkson.


Related article:

Breaking News: Bullets fly in failed Lambton armed robbery


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