“When a bank robber first enters… He wants to come inside the bank and be anonymous, but he can only be anonymous if we in the bank allow him. If we take that away, we strip away the whole foundation of his plan.”
To legitimate customers, being friendly seems welcoming. To most bandits, it induces paranoia that often causes them to back out.
A new FBI robbery prevention program called “Safecatch” trains bank employees how to greet suspicious people, offer them help and ask for identification. Some banks are adding a concierge perhaps trained in behavior detection. [story]
An interesting sidebar
The FBI suggests that banks call 911 and not use the alarm. Alarms typically signal a call center out of state, which first calls the bank to confirm the robbery before notifying police. That five-minute delay is enough time for a bandit to get away.
Private sector alarm services that shunt to our struggling 911 system should compensate our towns and cities.