Pawn Shops are Experiencing Workplace Violence. How Do I Stay Safe?

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Pawn Shops have a lot of high-ticket items that are a usual target for thieves. Unfortunately, we hear of a lot of pawn shop robberies these days. Because of the high volume of pawn shop robberies, an incident response plan is a must. An under-desk panic button for pawn shops is an excellent supplement to any incident response plan.

Why Use an Under-Desk Panic Button for Pawn Shops?

Little known fact: many traditional under-desk panic buttons for pawn shops do not actually connect directly to the police. Most silent alarms contact either an internal security group or a third-party security company. The security personnel may either pull security footage or call the pawn shop to assess the situation before actually contacting authorities. This delay could cause valuable time to be lost when trying to track down a robber. In the event of an emergency situation, every second matters.

An under-desk panic button for pawn shops would be especially helpful for several reasons. First, CRS Notify under-desk panic buttons connect directly to 911 with the E911 platform integration. This cuts out the middleman and authorities are notified instantly of a high alert being raised. Ultimately, this would be helpful in trying to catch a robber as they leave the pawn shop.

Secondly, our two-button wireless hardware devices have a range of 750 feet from the USB receiver. The wireless button is especially useful to employees that may not stay in the same spot at all times during a shift. If the employee feels threatened for whatever reason, they can discreetly raise a low alert to notify their colleagues to keep a lookout. If there is an imminent threat, the employee could quickly and discreetly raise a high alert to contact the police.

One recent pawn shop robbery happened on November 20, 2017. Pawn Plus in Memphis, Tennessee, was robbed at gunpoint by two men. They took 17 handguns.

One of our unique features allows several computers within a building and campuses alike to be networked together. With a CRS Notify under-desk panic button for pawn shops, all people in the network will be notified if an alert has been raised. For example, if a high alert was raised from an employee in the store, their manager that is off-site could receive a text message about the situation just moments after the alert.

How to Avoid Robberies

First and foremost, the most significant thing that pawn shop employees can do to deter robberies is to be aware of their surroundings. Even though the gesture may seem small, pawn shop employees should greet and make eye contact with every customer that comes in the door. Robbers usually want to maintain anonymity. There have been many cases where just a simple greeting has deterred a robbery.

One thing pawn shop employees can do to avoid robberies is something that is widely practiced already. Many pawn shops lock their high-ticket items away from view during closing time. Many pawn shops also have metal door re-enforcements that are deployed during closing time. Out of sight, out of mind.

Employees should also be trained in spotting suspicious activity. Jeweler’s Mutual lists different suspicious behaviors that could be displayed by customers, including inquiries about security features or disguises. Either way, any suspicious activity should be reported to a supervisor as soon as possible.

Surveillance cameras are also a deterrent to robberies. Again, most robbers want to maintain anonymity. There have been many reported cases of a surveillance camera preventing a robber from robbing a pawn shop.

Employees should also keep in close adherence to company policy when it comes to the amount of cash in their drawers. Amounts should be kept as low as possible to be able to conduct business. Any excess cash should be locked away.

Incident Response Plans

Every pawn shop should have an incident response plan in place that all employees are trained to follow. In addition to an under-desk panic button, incident response plans are critical to have in place.

The demands of a robber should always be followed. Many robbers do not want to draw attention to themselves. For the safety of employees and customers, the best course of action is to follow the demands of the robber.

An under-desk panic button is helpful when trying to catch a perpetrator after the fact. However, an under-desk panic button should only be activated when it is safe to do so. In fact, many security and law enforcement personnel will advise that an under-desk panic button for pawn shops not be used until the robber has left the premises. A hostage situation could potentially be triggered if the robber happens to turn around and see police waiting on the other side of the door. Because robbers tend to want to leave as quickly as possible, the best course of action is to allow the robber to leave. This action will lessen potential victimization of those in the pawn shop.

Those who were directly involved with the assailant and other witnesses should be isolated from each other as quickly as possible to fill out statements. Many law enforcement officials advise the separation so that everyone has an individual account of what happened. This way the recollection of the situation is not tainted with the statements of others.


In closing, an under-desk panic button for pawn shops would be beneficial in a robbery situation. An alert could be activated within moments of a robbery happening. Police would then be dispatched moments later. An under-desk panic button for pawn shops also cuts out the middleman when contacting emergency personnel. Instant notification prevents excessive time between alarm and dispatch. Pawn shop employees can rest easy knowing that in the event of having to use a holdup alarm, the authorities will be there within moments.

Still Unsure About an Under-Desk Panic Button?

Contact us for more information to make the best decision for your under-desk panic button. or 800-533-7201 M-F 8-5 pm CST