The Psychology Of An Armed Robbery

If you are a business owner, the last thing you want is to have your business be the subject of an armed robbery. You don’t want your hard earned money to be stolen from you, and more importantly, you don’t want any of your employees to be put in harm’s way. Scenarios such as this can seem like nothing more than bad luck, but you have more control than you may think.

As you begin to take precautions against an armed robbery, it is first beneficial (not to mention interesting!) to understand the psychology of a robber. A person with a good understanding of a robber’s mindset and motivations has a better chance survival, and may even be able to diffuse the situation.  

In 2013, the University of North Carolina Charlotte conducted a study exploring the motives and mindsets of burglars and robbers. They performed an unprecedented series of interviews with 400 convicts, and the responses they received to their questions were enlightening.

What Motivates Robbery?

Many people are of the belief that poverty is the primary motivator behind robbery: the desperate need for money in order to support one’s self or one’s family. However, according to UNC Charlotte’s study, 51% of robberies were carried out purely in support of drug addictions. According to this same study, only 37% of robberies were carried out for financial reasons, and even in these cases, drug habits were often part of the equation. In the remaining fringe, other studies conducted over the years have found that robbers’ motivations have ranged from the need to assert their manhood to the desire to prove a point to their wives.

How Do Robbers Choose Their Targets?

UNC Charlotte’s study found, unsurprisingly, that when selecting a target, most robbers were looking for places that were dark, light on traffic, void of people, and most of all, far from the police. Many participants also admitted that they would be more likely to rob a business that is in a high-crime area.

Roughly half of the participants reported targeting people’s private homes over businesses. In 2nd place, 31% of the study’s participants said that they primarily targeted businesses.

Do Most Robbers Plan Ahead?

According to this study at UNC Charlotte, only 12% of robbers reported planning their crimes ahead of time. In fact, 41% of the study’s participants said that their crimes were impulse decisions, while the remainder said that it varied. However, despite the seemingly impulsive nature of the crime, 83% of convicts who were interviewed said that they would try to figure out what kind of security measures were in place before carrying out their crimes. Most of them also said that they would select a different target if it appeared that substantial security measures had been taken.

What Deters Robbers?

In short, the study concluded that the biggest deterrent of robbery was signage indicating the security measures that have been taken by a business. The vast majority of the convicts who participated in the study said that they would not go through with their crime if they discovered evidence of a high security level. Topping the list of reasons that these convicts would have abandoned their plans to rob a particular business was the presence of security cameras and/or alarms.

Herring Technology Is Here To Help

Herring Technology is well-equipped to help you with your business’s security protocol. To schedule a security assessment and take the first step towards deterring robbery, get in touch today!

SOURCES:

UNC CHARLOTTE 

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