Kennewick Police offer robbery survival class, still searching for armed robber

Kennewick saw four separate robberies in just ten days. A man walks in armed, demanding money - two times taking out a pistol and pointing it at the cashier. Three happened on Clearwater Avenue and one on Kennewick Avenue.

"Some of these locations are not places you would know ordinarily suspect to be the victim of a robbery, you know, a store that sells supplemental vitamins, headshops," said Mike Blatman, Crime Prevention Specialist with Kennewick Police.

Pandora's Box, 7 Eleven, GNC, and Headies were all robbed. Kennewick Police are investigating the similarities in each incident.

Blatman said their Robbery Prevention and Survival Class was created for situations just like these - dealing with a desperate and probably frightened robber.

"Once that robbery starts you're not gonna stop it so the idea is for you to survive," said Blatman.

The classes are available to all Kennewick businesses, training employees on their reactions, including controlling movements, mannerisms, and communication.

"For example somebody says 'Give me all the money' and they don't tell you what they want you to do with it. So you give them the money and then they go, 'Well put it in a bag.' Well if you turn around and walk away from that robber to go get a bag, what do you think it's going to happen," said Blatman.

The class also teaches employees what to do after a robbery to help identify a suspect.

"Writing down immediately because we start forgetting things within about 28 seconds after it takes place," said Blatman. "An employee has called the business manager, called a friend, they've called a family member and then finally someone goes, 'You should call the police' 'Oh no, I haven't.' That happens," he said.

Blatman said knowing what to do in a robbery is just as important as making change.

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