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Discussion Starter #1
I usually stop by at the Starbucks next to my work in the morning. Yesterday seemed busy and there was a long line. I usually look around even if the place seems safe. A man wearing a denim jacket and jeans caught my eye. He seemed nervous, shabby, like he hadn't taken care of himself for days, kept entering the cafe and leaving. He kept reaching for something inside his jacket. All this time he said nothing to anyone. No one noticed him and everyone at the Starbucks seemed lost in their own world.

I tried not to alarm him by staring, so I kept looking around trying not to focus on him. He cuts in line and goes straight to the cashier. Pauses for 5 seconds and leaves again. He re-entered the store, started reaching into his jacket again, then hesitated. His cell phone rang. As he reached for his cell phone, I noticed the grip and the hammer of a revolver tucked into his jeans. "What?...where?..." he said. Then he bolted out of the place, got into his truck and floored it. I noticed two WSP cars pass by a few seconds later. So this guy wasn't alone. Someone was his look out person. Or maybe I am just too paranoid!

I called 911 and related the incident.

A crowded place always makes me uneasy in a situation like this. Do I stay? Do I leave? The fact that he was going in and out of the cafe stopped me from calling 911 immediately in fear of him overhearing me.
 

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Very good work in my opinion, thats kind of what were learning right now in the academy...how to notice a potential threat or profiling...good work and sharp eye...
 

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Excellent! :congrats:

I commend you for your observational skills. :hand10:

See, badguys aren't alone, even when you think they are. Granted you only have circumstanial evidence that there is a second party involved in the nefarious shenanigans, but trained personnel would call that phone call and the arrival of the local constabulary a clue.

Biker
 

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Excellent SA. Glad it became a non-incident.
 

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Good observations! On the 'stay or leave', I'd suggest relying on what your instincts are telling you. I've had some situations where I stay and observe, and others where I decide it's time to go.

Also, it may not be a bad idea to make eye contact. A non-confrontational nod at the person can be a friendly gesture...but also can let them know that they've been noticed. I'd be curious to hear other takes on this issue though.
 

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Not to derail the thread, but let's just for a moment, continue with the actions and their logical conclusion.

If the subject had produced a weapon, pointed at the Cashier, and demanded the money in the till, what are you prepared to do?

I myself would be backing away, sliding sideways or whatever it took to be behind cover and not be a factor in the actions. In short, unless something very drastic happened, I would let the Robbery take place and the criminal actor flee.

The odds are, that if an Armed Robbery had taken place, no shots would've been fired by the criminal actor and nobody injured. Now just because I have gotten my butt safely to cover does not mean that I won't continue to observe and report to the responding LEO's. For those of you that say you would challenge the criminal actor, I have a question for you.

Are you willing to endanger all the people in the establishment for the sake of the money in the till?

Biker
 

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Also, it may not be a bad idea to make eye contact. A non-confrontational nod at the person can be a friendly gesture...but also can let them know that they've been noticed. I'd be curious to hear other takes on this issue though.
Absolutely make eye contact. Let him know you see him, and that you're aware of his presence. He'll then possibly start to question his ability and actions up to that point and wonder if you're on to him. That in itself may defuse the situation IMO.
 

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Good observation skills.

Personally going by what you report, at the time that I would have noted the person possessing a firearm I then _immediately_ would have made the very personal choice to leave that building.
I can always get a coffee elsewhere or later.

I'd then dial 911 secondarily as from a position of safety AND I'd report to them a full description of the man, his vehicle, license plate, and direction of travel.

But first and foremost I would gain distance if not concealment from this person that has caused my brain and/or gut to throw up a red flag.

- Janq
 

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I myself would be backing away, sliding sideways or whatever it took to be behind cover and not be a factor in the actions. In short, unless something very drastic happened, I would let the Robbery take place and the criminal actor flee.
+10

Places like Starbucks have insurance for a reason. On top of that, there can't be much in the register anyway (not that that would even matter).

I would get to cover and be very prepared for something bad to happen in which case I might have to act. Otherwise, just let him get the money and go.

To the OP...great awareness!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The Starbucks is about 800 sq.ft and had close to 30 people in there. Even if the guy had pulled a gun, it would be a bad idea to do anything to stop him. Half the time, I get people bumping into me with their fancy coffee preparations, not to mention their Blackberries. Trying to fire in that situation can be dangerous.
 

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Very true. Shots fired inside a small building with that many people would not end well at all.

Also, who's to say that his "lookouts" didn't spot the OP watching the BG. You just never know.
 

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Even if it came to a shooting I don't know if engaging the BG would be a good decision either. I mean in such a tight area whose to say if your bullets wouldn't just pass through the BG and hurt an innocent. Then look who is in boiling water.
 

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Good observations! On the 'stay or leave', I'd suggest relying on what your instincts are telling you. I've had some situations where I stay and observe, and others where I decide it's time to go.

Also, it may not be a bad idea to make eye contact. A non-confrontational nod at the person can be a friendly gesture...but also can let them know that they've been noticed. I'd be curious to hear other takes on this issue though.
I am the General Manager for a large hotel. I have so many people in an out its hard sometimes to know who belongs and who dosent. The fist think i always do when someone gives me a weird feeling is eye contact and a verbal greeting. After 5 years of this, a persons reponce/body language will usually tell a lot.
 

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Stay armed...stay in yellow...stay safe! You did...:hand10:
 

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Good observation skills.

Personally going by what you report, at the time that I would have noted the person possessing a firearm I then _immediately_ would have made the very personal choice to leave that building.
I can always get a coffee elsewhere or later.

I'd then dial 911 secondarily as from a position of safety AND I'd report to them a full description of the man, his vehicle, license plate, and direction of travel.

But first and foremost I would gain distance if not concealment from this person that has caused my brain and/or gut to throw up a red flag.

- Janq
+1
I think the great Sun Tzu said it best " A good run is better than a bad fight anyday".:yup:
 

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Should have walked up and asked him what his choice of carry piece was, JUST A JOKE.

Good situational awareness. Iv been in a couple situations like that, specifically at a Stop N Rob and the bank.
 

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Potential Robbery

Are you willing to endanger all the people in the establishment for the sake of the money in the till?

Biker
I'll second what Biker said. As the victim of 4 armed robberies when I was employed as a desk clerk, money is not worth putting the lives of innocent bystanders in jeopardy. Money is not worth shooting someone over in any circumstances. Money is replaceable.
 

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I noticed the grip and the hammer of a revolver tucked into his jeans. "What?...where?..." he said. Then he bolted out of the place, got into his truck and floored it. I noticed two WSP cars pass by a few seconds later.
Sounds like you "made" an undercover cop to me.
 
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