Part 2: After a Bank Robbery
Help Preserve the Evidence
After the robber has left the building and everybody is safe, take a breath and relax – you made it! Now, be sure not to disturb any evidence left by the robber. Do not walk over to the area where the robber was, and certainly don’t touch anything that the robber touched (or left behind).
Help others keep the evidence intact. Everybody will be excited, and they may forget that the crime scene cannot be altered. Gently remind them – stressing that the police need the information – that they should not disturb any evidence.
By leaving the crime scene intact, law enforcement will have a better chance of identifying the robber.
Keep the Facts Straight
It is likely that there will be several people with you – bank employees, other customers, and your family. Each person has a unique perspective, and it’s likely that you will all remember the details a little bit differently. Try to keep these differences intact and let investigators sort out any discrepancies.
If you let somebody change your perception of events – or if you change somebody else’s mind, you could ruin the investigation. It is best not to discuss the details until you have submitted a statement to law enforcement.
The Emotional Toll
Witnessing a bank robbery and being involved in a robbery is a very weird experience. We simply don’t expect it to happen in everyday life, and we can feel violated after the experience. Some of the people around you may react differently. Stay alert to any excessive emotions in yourself and others.
Banks will often bring counselors to work with employees who are involved in a robbery. You and your family may also want to work out any reactions to the event.