It seems like every week brings new video of someone walking into a convenience store, coffee shop or gas station mart and attempting to rob it - with innocent bystanders caught in the crosshairs. If you were caught in such a situation, would you know what law enforcement officials say you're supposed to do?
Survival expert Mykel Hawke, a former Special Forces officer, shares tips that could save your life in a robbery.
- Look for a way out. "The first thing you do whenever you walk in is you start looking for a way out," Hawke told TODAY national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen. "That way if a bad guy comes in the front door, you can be going out the back."
- Don't try to fight. "If there’s a robbery, don’t try to be a hero," Hawke advised. "Try to escape undetected if you can. Just remember: They’re probably just there to get money."
- Look for hiding places like a bathroom or even a freezer. "Once you’re in a safe hiding place, dial 911," Hawke said.
- If the gunman has you cornered, comply and hand over anything he wants.
- If all else fails... If you think you have no other choice and you're about to be killed, Hawke advised doing whatever you can to distract the gunman: "Make a diversion and escape."
- Another good tip: Memorize as many details as possible about the suspect – what he’s wearing, how tall he is, what kind of car he’s driving. They could help police catch him before he strikes again.