How to prevent small store robberies

Posted: 9:41 AM, Dec 03, 2015
Updated: 2015-12-03 14:41:43Z

A man robbed a Dollar General in Lansing at gunpoint on Wednesday.

At least five other dollar stores have been robbed in the last month.

"It has a big impact on small businesses. It's not a victim-less crime," Michael Rogers of the Small Business Association of Michigan said. "When these stores are robbed, or there's fraud that affects them, it's taking money right out of the pockets of small business owners and their families." He says there is something workers can do to keep crimes from happening in their stores.

"The easiest way to protect themselves is simply by being aware of customers who come in," Rogers said. He says something as simple as looking each customer in the eye and saying hello can prevent crime.

"It's not only a friendly customer-service type of thing, but it also gives the subtle message that we know you're here, we're here to help you, but at the same time if you're planning something nefarious, we have an eye on you as well," Rogers said.

FOX 47 News reached out to the stores that have been robbed, none of them could speak to the media.

The Lansing Police Department says it is a little unusual that so many dollar stores have been robbed, but it doesn't think the crimes are connected because the suspect description in each one is too different.

LPD says if you're being robbed, hand over whatever the robber asks for, no amount of money is worth risking your life.

The department also says, in the past, this time of year has brought more robberies, possibly because there is more money-related pressure during the holiday season.