Location, Location, Location


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Apparently when choosing where to pull a bank robbery this is the important thing also!

A friend of mine relayed this story to me. He was having lunch at a local eatery in a strip center. He was seated by the window where he could look out onto the parking lot. In the parking lot, within his field of view was an out parcel with a bank. The bank has a primary (and only public) entrance facing the restaurant. Seated at the booth in front of where he was seated were two uniformed bicycle cops (yep we have them here in South Florida even in January). There radio was just loud enough to hear at his location when he heard them dispatch a hold-up alarm at this bank.

The two officers immediately called in their location and made their way out the front door of the restaurant and then to one on each side of the bank’s main entrance where they waited with sidearms drawn. Within a few minutes a man emerged from the bank with a bag and one of the officers yelled something at him (my friend was not in range to hear what) but he turned and upon seeing the officer with his gun pointed at him had that “pooped his pants” look on his face. He immediately dropped the bag and threw his hands in the air and as the bag hit the ground there was a POP. Apparently the bank had put a dye pack in the bag and the impact set it off, so now he was standing there looking like he had pooped his pants and covered in blue. Backup was now rolling in and the second bike officer could not resist just laughing.

What happened next was what I found interesting. The officer emerging from one of the first backup units to arrive was on the cell phone, apparently to personnel inside the bank. As officers arrived and basically surrounded the building, they did not make entry. Rather, they had those inside the bank (he could not tell if they were all employees or if some were customers) exit the front door, individually one at a time, walking backward with their hands behind their head. As soon as they emerged, they were physically directed aside by an officer, checked out that they were not a BG and then moved to the back side of the parking lot.

Only after the last person was out, did they actually make entry (in typical swat fashion) and final clear the building. I think this technique would give the police great control of the people and their safety. Certainly they were fully prepared to make immediate entry if the “inside” person indicated anything was going wrong, but as long as they believed the situation was under control, they managed to clear one person at a time rather than a crowd, and therefore did not have a bunch of weapons trained on a bunch of innocents, hopefully lowering any chance of an accidental shooting.

Hearing how this played out gave me at least a feeling that this particular department had trained well for what they do.

When it was all over, apparently one of the bike cops came back over to the restaurant and went to the manager to say they had not paid their check … the manager decided this one would be “on the house”

Awesome story. Great to know info in case one is ever in a bank that gets held up. Everyone will be considered as a hostile until the LEOs are able to check them out. I do night janitorial at a bank but get there while it's still open and walking in on a robbery is one of the scenarios I play in my head. I always look inside from a ways back in the parking lot before entering. Bank employees don't know I carry, nor will they ever know unless I ever have to draw. The last thing I'd need in a situation is to have a teller say "hey, you have a gun, do something."

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