If you keep large amounts of cash in your place of business or home, you’ve just made yourself into an easy target for would-be thieves and armed robbers. Here are several proven cash control tips that can make your business less appealing to crooks looking for someone to rob.
The holiday season is here and small business owners who are taking in a good bit of cash should be advised that having too much cash on hand can lead to theft and armed robbery.
Storing cash in your place of business and/or your home is not advisable, even if you have a safe and an alarm system.
One case that illustrates this point involves the home invasion and armed robbery of a man who owns a small business in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, just outside Philadelphia.
On December 9th the U.S. Attorney for Eastern Pennsylvania announced an indictment charging three defendants with planning and executing an armed robbery of the owner of K & C Beverage by following him from his store to his home in Havertown, Pennsylvania, where he kept the proceeds of his business.
According to the indictment, at approximately 2:30 a.m. on August 8, 2010, Terrance Lydell Downing, Tyree Eric Mansell, a/k/a “Smash,” and Nyfis Topping, a/k/a “Feese” broke into the owner’s home through a rear window that led to the kitchen. Armed with loaded guns and wearing masks and bandanas to hide their faces, Lydell, Mansell and Topping forced the owner at gunpoint to show them where his money was located.
The armed robbers took approximately $60,000 in cash from a safe located in the store owner’s bedroom closet and escaped. Thankfully, the owner and his family were not hurt in the home invasion and gun-point robbery.
This case was investigated by the FBI and the Havertown Township Police Department and prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney as part of the Project Safe Neighborhood program.
Project Safe Neighborhood is a federal, state and local law enforcement identifies and prosecutes dangerous firearm offenders in federal court, where the defendants are likely to receive a substantial sentence if convicted.
Law enforcement officer and security professionals say that one of the best deterrents to armed robbery is to have a good cash control policy. Small business owners can prevent home invasions, armed robberies and theft by instituting good cash control procedures.
- Don’t keep unnecessary amounts of cash in the cash register. Install an anchored drop-vault for employees but don’t provide them with a key to the safe.
- Post a sign that you have a drop-vault that can’t be accessed by employees and that no more than a certain amount is kept in the cash register at any one time.
- Post a sign on the outside of your business that states you have limited cash on hand.
- Only allow trusted employees to know how you handle your cash.
- Keep your cash in a bank, not in your home.
- Make frequent and varied trips to the bank. Carry the cash in a disguised money bag and have someone accompany you. There is safety in numbers. Don’t use the same route to the bank or leave at the same time each day.
- Drive or walk to the nearest open business or police or fire station if you feel you are being followed while you are taking your money to the bank.
- While operating your business at night, ensure that all exterior lights are working and if possible, lock all doors except the front door.
- Install a buzz or bell door signaling system on your front door to alert your employees when a customer comes in or leaves.
By having a cash control policy of keeping the lowest amount of cash on hand, and advertising the policy, your business can become a less desirable target for robbers, crooks and thieves.