SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The detectives of the Special Unit Robberies (S.U.R.) have been kept busy investigating several armed robberies. In the last few weeks, there has been a noticeable increase in armed robberies. Remarkably, the suspects are mainly targeting the small groceries stores in the different districts.
In general, the suspects who commit these acts are usually two persons. They are sometimes on scooters and wearing masks.
Seeing this uptick, the police of Sint Maarten find it imperative to educate the public as well as the business owners in an effort to minimize the risk of being targeted by these
criminals. The best way to “deal with” with armed robberies is to prevent them.
An appeal goes out to the owner of the small supermarkets to take precautionary measures to protect themselves by not storing large amounts of cash in the establishment.
Understand that robbers commit crimes because they believe that the payoff outweighs any risk. Robberies usually take place when there’s a lack of planning for emergency situations and when poor cash handling is involved. Without the right security measures, many businesses unknowingly make criminal situations convenient for robbers.
The police will continue to do our part and we will continue to ask the community to assist. Only by working as a unit can we stop the individuals who go into the community looking for an easy payout by committing a robbery. Prevention is always better than finding a cure.
To help you do that, the Sint Maarten Force Communication department has put together some tips that can help your business from becoming a victim of robbery and also how to deal with them in the event a robbery does occur.
Armed robberies usually happen during opening and closing times, as well as lunch breaks. Why? “Opening and closing periods are particularly vulnerable times due to low staffing and
large amounts of cash on hand. Lunch hours are primary times for the same reasons.”
Practice safe cash handling Robbers are after cash, so take the necessary cash handling precautions to minimize risk and loss.
Here are some of the ways to do that:
Avoid having unnecessary amounts of money in your register. Only keep the
amount you need to conduct normal business, and either put everything else in a
safe or transfer to the bank.
Improve visibility having a checkout area that’s highly visible can discourage robbers.
That why it’s best to:
- Avoid fixtures or signs that can obstruct views of and from the register.
- Cover your blind spots using mirrors or cameras.
- Invest in good lighting both inside and outside your stores.