“Why me?” asked the liquor store owner after he and his employees were held up for two hours at gunpoint. The thieves made off will about $40,000 dollars worth of top shelf liquor- all in cases. “ I never did anything to anyone” said the owner, as he tried to make sense out of the night’s events.
As it turns out, the owner and two of his employees were working well passed the store’s normal closing time; it was almost midnight. Under typical circumstances, the store would have been locked and secured by around ten o clock. Additionally, the store’s bottle security included a CCTV camera and recording system, which was still running and captured the night’s events.
The employees were working late building some new shelving units for the store. The doors were open, presumably for some fresh air. They were several hours into their project when a man walked in and asked if they were still open for business.
When they said no, two more men showed up and all three of them pulled out guns. The employees were tied; duct taped, and told to lie on the floor. The employees complied for fear of what would happen if they did not follow instructions.
The three men on the inside pulled the blinds shut, and started to call more of their friends, taking orders for what kind of liquor they wanted. There were three more men waiting outside, for a total of six robbers.
The three robbers outside would wait for a car to pull up by the curb. When they did, the robbers would load out full cases of liquor, and the cars would leave. Over and over, cars would show up, cases of liquor would go out the door, and the robbers took as much time as they wanted to get the job done.
The robbers left after about two hours of this, when the majority of the top shelf liquor cases had been handed out. The owner and the employees were able to cut themselves free and call the local police. Everything had been caught on the store’s CCTV camera system.
The owner was left wondering what had happened and why. What he didn’t realize through this ordeal was that the majority of this was the store’s fault. They literally left the store wide open for someone to come by and victimize them. By leaving the doors open late at night, it didn’t take long for someone (the robbers) to see that an opportunity had been presented.
More than likely, the robbers had driven or walked by earlier and saw a small staff (three people) working inside, with little disregard to their own personal safety. The doors were propped open, but no one was there to guard them. It was dark, and there wasn’t a lot of traffic going past the store due to the lateness of the hour.
It is an important reminder that even when a store is closed, personal security (as well as bottle security) needs to be enforced and addressed. The employees would have been better off had they not left the door open and worked behind a closed and locked door. Extra fans should have been provided to reduce the heat and any fumes created by the project. Another option would have been to keep an employee by the door to stand watch. Had the robbers seen an employee keeping an eye on the door, they may have decided against a robbery attempt.
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