ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Traditionally, armed robberies increase in South Georgia during the holidays. So, what do you do if you are in a bank or store when robbers attack?
WALB's Whitney Shelton sat down with a retired Secret Service agent who explained some of the best safety tips for anyone caught in a robbery situation, like the armed robbery at the Renasant Bank in Albany Monday afternoon.
Jim Maddux is a retired Secret Service agent who spent over 23 years in federal law enforcement. He said the best things those customers and employees could've done is exactly what they did, listen to the robbers.
Maddux said when the robbers tell you to do something, do what they say, and never try to take on the robbers.
"It's just not worth your safety or the safety of the people in there," said Maddux.
Maddux said that if you carry a gun, do not pull it out and fire. There are more ways to be a hero, and one of those is with your eyes.
"Be the hero by giving good eyewitness accounts to the investigating officers that arrive at the scene," explained Maddux.
Maddux suggested being as detailed as possible.
"Pay attention to height, weight, hair color, eye color, scars, tattoos, mannerisms," said Maddux.
Even accents can help narrow down the suspects and when looking at clothing don't just look at the outer layer.
"The outer layer, more than likely, is going to be taken off as soon as they leave so if you can see anything under that outer layer, the inner layer that you can remember, that would be important," said Maddux.
But the best advice Maddux gave was about how you act during the situation.
"Stay calm. Blend into the floor, blend into the wall. Don't be a focus for them," explained Maddux.
Maddux also had some advice for the robbers.
"You're going to get caught. Rarely does it ever go where you don't get caught," said Maddux.
Everyone at Renasant Bank was able to go back home, alive and safe.
Maddux said that is the most important end to an armed robbery. Not the money but people's safety.
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