Making Safer Bank Deposits
by Curtis Baillie
Retail Security Expert Witness
This article appears in the publication Retail Crime, Security, and Loss Prevention: An Encyclopedic Reference by Charles Sennewald, CPP, CMC, CSC and John Christman, CPP. (Butterworth-Heinenann, (2008). Curtis Baillie CSC is a Contributing Author.
My first experience in making bank deposits was working part time for the security department of an amusement park. Every day, except Sundays, we would drive the cash receipts, at times totaling $500,000, or more to the bank and return with the change order. Making the deposits rested with the security department, and was a major event. We were escorted to the bank by no less than eight municipal police officers in four marked cars, and all officers were armed with either shotguns or automatic weapons. Why the amusement park never used an armored service was beyond me.
Making bank deposits in the retail environment can be a stressful event. Many companies choose to have their management teams make them. This decision is usually made as a cost saving factor, as armored car services are expensive. The newspapers are full of crime stories where employees have been robbed, injured, or killed while making bank deposits. Employees even stage fake robberies at deposit boxes to cover up an employee theft.
One such incident occurred when a management employee making a bank deposit on a Sunday morning reported being stabbed, with a knife, in the back by a robber who took the bank bag containing thousands of dollars. Several things were wrong with this "robbery" as he had a relative drive him to the bank, parking on the opposite corner and out of site of the drop box. It just didn’t sound right. There was even a "witness" standing across the street who observed the entire robbery. As it turned out, he staged the robbery, having his witness friend, a local well-known criminal, stab him in the back with a knife. This is a pretty extreme example, but it shows just what lengths people will go.
If a company chooses to make their own bank deposits there should always be two employees making the deposit. Deposits should be made during the daytime, as it is safer to do so. If deposits must be made during the nighttime hours, after closing, the following safety suggestions must be considered:
Don't become a victim!