4 tips to surviving a bank robbery

In the wrong place at the wrong time
In the wrong place at the wrong time © Kimber Rey Solana/

Suppose you're in a bank branch when it gets robbed. Should you hit the ground and stay quiet? Confront the robbers? Try to take a photo or summon help?

While every situation is different and no one knows in advance how they'll react, the best advice for bank customers is to not do anything that might put themselves or others at greater risk of harm, says Doug Johnson, vice president of risk management policy at the American Bankers Association, a trade organization in Washington, D.C.

"It's important for individuals not to try to be heroes, not to panic, and to do anything the robber tells them to do, which is reasonable," Johnson says. "Certainly, they should not try to take pictures or try to be part of the solution to the crime. You do not want to draw attention to yourself in any way, shape or form."

If you happen to be moving through the exit, you might be able to continue out, but making any sudden movements would not be advisable. Nor would doing anything other than exactly what the robber tells you to do, Johnson says. Here are a few things to know to survive a bank robbery.


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