THINK FAST: What to do if you are in a convenience store that is being robbed

THINK FAST: What to do during a store robbery
Published: Feb. 12, 2017 at 7:21 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 14, 2017 at 10:45 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Convenience store robberies happen often and they can happen at random.

Masked robbers will burst into a store, brandishing a firearm and demanding money. Often times, the store clerk becomes the victim of the robbery attempt.

However, if someone happens to find themselves in a store that is being robbed, there are steps that can be taken to protect oneself.

WBTV's safety and security specialist, Karl de la Guerra, admits there is no textbook response as to how someone should react if they are a bystander witnessing a store robbery.

"There is no right answer for telling somebody exactly what to do in a situation like this," said de la Guerra.

He said that a person's own individual safety should be priority number one in a robbery situation.

"You absolutely want to do nothing to put yourself in jeopardy or those you are within jeopardy," explained de la Guerra.

He said that depending on the circumstances, a person will most likely want to treat the situation like an active shooter case-acting as if a gunman has entered the location. He said bystanders should try to run or hide, with fighting being a last resort.

"Try to position yourself in the aisle and give yourself as much distance as you can from the scene, once again not appearing to be a threat to anybody," said de la Guerra.

He said that in most cases, a robber will be targeting the cash register inside of a convenience store. It is best for bystanders to move away from this area if a suspect tries to attempt a robbery.

De la Guerra says that most stores have surveillance cameras that will capture the incident on video. He advises any victims to think very carefully about being combative if a robber targets them.

"I will tell you, if somebody's got a gun and they ask for my wallet, I'm giving them my wallet. A wallet is not worth getting hurt or dying for," said de la Guerra.

He said any witnesses to the incident should try to get a good description of how the robber looked at the time of the incident.

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