Robbery Prevention

Having met and interviewed over 300 convicted bank and credit union robbers, I have identified a couple of common threads. The first is that every institution is cased. No potential robber comes into a town, approaches the very first financial institution they come across and makes a decision to rob that branch. The potential criminal is likely to take at least one of these steps: drive by several times deciding where to park their get-a-way vehicle; walk by the building a number of times trying to get a feel for its layout; enter the branch and request a roll of quarters for a $10 bill while they are checking out the facility; act as though they are filling out a deposit slip at the island only to walk back out as if they forgot something; meet with a loan officer under the guise of an interested borrower; or sit in nearby restaurant timing patrol cars and response time The bottom line is that every institution is cased to some extent and employees need to be aware of suspicious activities- anything that is out of the ordinary. The majority of the people that come into your institutions are legitimate customers that you see every day, every week or every month. These are not the people that should concern you. It is those you have never seen before that should cause you worry. Make it a policy that if any employee sees an individual they do not recognize enter your institution (and if they are not in the middle of some type of transaction), approach that individual, extend a hand, and say, “Thank you for visiting our branch. What can we do for you today?” That alone may keep the potential robber from choosing your institution- the last thing a criminal wants is someone looking them in the eye and getting a good description. Your legitimate customer will love it as fantastic customer service; potential robbers will deem that as reason enough to head down the road. The second common thread I found in interviewing convicted robbers was the importance of male presence in the lobby. The potential robber fears someone who may play “Joe Hero” and try to thwart what they are attempting. I walked into dozens of institutions with every intent of committing that robbery only to walk up to the teller, hand the person a $10 bill, and ask for a roll or quarters based on male presence. If you are unable to keep a male presence in your institution consistently, make sure you have a male presence on Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Fifty percent or more of all robberies occur between these hours on this particular day of the week. Whether that person is a teller of the bank or the President, a male must be visible in the lobby during this time frame.
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Some Bank and Credit Union Robbery Tips

For more than 15 years, I pursued a career as a self-employed Addict, Drug Dealer, Gambler and Thief. I risked my life and sacrificed my family to satisfy my need for money, attention and independence. Ultimately, my disregard of values and discipline resulted in a 13 year Federal Prison sentence. Following a six-month crime spree, which included five armed bank/credit union robberies in three states, my self-destructive lifestyle was brought to an end. I soon found myself within the razor wire and armed confines of the Federal Correctional Complex in Florence, Colorado where my neighbors included such notorious criminals as Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols. Facing the obstacles, pressures and violence of prison life, I was determined that his time behind bars would not be wasted. I chose Education as my saving grace, despite the elimination of Federal Pell Grants for the incarcerated. Undeterred, I set out to secure funding on my own through scholarships, grants and foundation assistance. After six months of submitting applications, writing essays, begging, pleading and selling, I landed his first scholarship for one class. That was a beginning, and when I walked out the doors of prison, I carried with me two degrees, both obtained with a 4.0 GPA and placement on the Dean’s and President’s List. Today, I am a motivational speaker, sharing my story of endurance and personal transformation with audiences of all ages. For nearly a decade now I have provided financial institutions with real-life insight surrounding robbery prevention, apprehension and recovery. By giving you a look into the “mind of the enemy” I am confident that the suggestions below, if implemented, will; dramatically decrease the chance of your financial institution being targeted for a robbery; increase the chances of a quick apprehension of the assailant(s), and; aid in a speedy and full recovery of monies taken. Obviously bank robbery is not as Hollywood portrays-it is not John Dillinger, Bonnie and Clyde and it is certainly not a crime that is committed by individuals who are living a glamorous lifestyle. The people who are committing these crimes are strung out on drugs, they have a gambling debt to pay, or are about to lose their homes to foreclose. Robbery is very much an act of desperation. Wherever drugs are available, gambling occurs, and unemployment is prevalent, the crime of robbery will occur. This being the case, how do you “robber proof” your institutions? It starts with the support of senior management. You must create an environment in which a potential robber does not want to be. A robber will always take the past of least resistance.
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Goodbye to My Beloved Four Legged Son

As the first quarter of the year comes to a close I reflect on all that I have to be grateful for and all of the many people who touch my life!  I am also internally grateful to all of you who have and continue to reach out to me as this is also the six month mark in which I lost my twelve year old four legged son Archie to cancer.  Although it has been over six months I still feel the pain of losing a family member and give special thanks to those who give me their shoulder, listen to my stories and share with me their similar losses. On a professional note, the start of 2014 is bringing exciting new changes in the way I deliver content to my clients.  Speaking engagements, webinars, audioconferences and product sales are just the tip of the iceberg…I am very excited about some new ventures I will be launching and well certainly keep you all in the loop. Watch for post later in this week about Bank and Credit Union Robbery Tips.
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Happy New Year and Kidney Stones

To all of my family, friends, colleagues and clients (past, future and present) I wish you a very Happy New Year! With this New Year comes an appreciation for all of the blessings within our daily lives and let’s all remember that it is not WHAT we have in our lives, but WHO and we all need to be asking ourselves “Are we spending the least time with what is most important?” Do not give the best hour of the day to your job…give the best hour of the day to the loved ones in your life. For those of you in parts of the US where the weather has been so brutally cold, I send you some Arizona sunshine! I do not mention this to boast about our 75 degree days, but in hopes that when our summers are 110 every day with nightly lows in the 90’s that you will return the favor! My tardiness in getting this posted was due to an unexpected and unwanted bout with kidney stones. My first time experiencing these and I would not wish them on my worst enemy (which makes me stop and ponder…I do not truly have any enemies that I know of so I guess this is a moot point). I am by no means a silent sufferer (as my family can attest) and the four days it took to pass these was the most physical pain I have ever endured and it has left a lasting impression on me. For those who endure everyday pain through illness or injury, mental or physical, I do not know how you do it but I have a new respect for your daily trials. If someone you know is in pain reach out and make their day a little more bearable through acts of kindness…I certainly will be on the lookout for those in pain and need. In my last posting I promised to continue addressing “Internal Prisons” and will follow up on that in my next post. Kidney Stones have a way of changing your outlook. May 2014 be a Year of Joy, Prosperity and Peace for you and all those who are a part of your life. Enjoy the fireworks below from all over the world !
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