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Saturday, January 14, 2006

Lynchburg Convenience Store Robberies: What Can Be Done?

On almost a weekly basis, a new night time Convenience Store robbery has occurred in Lynchburg and the Lynchburg area. One of the most recent is the Wilco on the corner of Lakeside Drive and 501.

A white robber approximately six feet tall welding a knife held the clerk at bay while he rifled through the cash register and got away with approximately 300 dollars in cash.

Businesses that operate at night are prime targets for thieves. Many times the robberies occur without physical injuries to the cashiers, but this is not always the case. Local cashiers have been injured and some killed when robberies occur.

Notably, one chain of stores in Lynchburg has not experience any robberies. The Sheetz gas station chain has had no robberies during the recent surge in robberies, and I personally can not remember if they have ever been robbed.

So what sets Sheetz apart from the other chains that have experienced a more disturbing trend of increased robberies? Well its a combination of things. Lighting, having more than one clerk on duty during night time hours, and easy visibility through the windows have all led to a environment that is unfriendly to thieves.

In the picture on this post, if you enlarge it you will see how this Wilco as opposed to Sheetz is an inviting target for thieves. This picture could be just as easily a Quicke Store or an Expresslane. They all offer the same kind of vulnerabilities and offer an inviting target for robbery.

The National Association of Convenience stores points to these measures that owners of stores can do:

cash control;
clear sight lines into stores;
prominent position of cash register;
eliminating escape routes;
balanced exterior and interior lighting; and
employee training.

In our next story on this subject, we will show how one community reduced convenience store robberies by 65 percent.


At 7:36 PM, Blogger thebluestbutterfly said...

I am keeping these ideas in mind for when I start my own business.

At 8:18 PM, Blogger B O B said...

Thank you for your comment. I wish you luck with your store and if it is not that far away would love to get one of your coffee's when you open.


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