What to do if you’re in a bank robbery

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By Margarette Burnette

Imagine you’re at your bank, and it’s your turn at the teller counter. You notice a person on your left handing another teller a note, and then you overhear a hushed demand for money. Other customers aren’t aware of what’s going on: You’re in the middle of a robbery. What do you do?

U.S. banks were robbed more than 4,000 times last year, according to the FBI. If you witness a robbery, security experts say, your first priority should be to avoid making a bad situation worse. Here’s what else they recommend to keep yourself safe.

Stay calm

In most holdups, robbers are only after the bank’s money, not looking to harm customers, says Sgt. James Bracke of the FBI Bank Robbery Task Force in Phoenix.

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