It was a lazy January afternoon and the bad weather had abated for a while. A few of the mechanics in the shop were taking a short break outside while others were finishing up some last minute jobs. It would be closing time in two hours and we are looking forward to going home.
Suddenly you could hear the screech of tires and the crash of metal. It came out of nowhere and jarred our souls. The quiet of the shop was rudely broken. A rogue car was in our midst. It hit the side of the shop because it was going too fast to stop on a dime.
Two masked gunmen emerged from the smoking auto. They waved pistols in the air and we froze in our tracks. One of the men addressed the working mechanic nearest them and mumbled something about the safe. Cash was all we could make out. We mustered the courage to respond and tried to calm the jostled men’s nerves before they started shooting. They seemed out of control and desperate. No doubt on drugs.
Manny, one of the mechanics, went into the office and approached the safe. He knew it didn’t contain much cash as this was not the nature of our business. Would the gunmen retaliate? Would they be angry and incensed? We feared for our lives. He got an idea. He asked each of us to pool our cash and then threw it aggressively at the robbers. This is all we got, he stammered. They looked at him aghast. Crashing their car and committing a felony for a few hundred dollars!
One of the gunmen grabbed the cash, looked into the safe to retreat a few hundred more, and made a bee line to the car. Miraculously it started and they sped off. No one moved for several minutes. We caught our breaths.
In broad daylight such violations can and do occur. It is brazen to be sure. We all discussed the matter and felt that investing in a small gun safe was in order and several small firearms to go in it. We assigned the job of purchasing appropriate weapons to Alec and the gun safe to Joe. We had to do something about employee protection. A medium size model bolted to the office wall would be a visible deterrent in the future we hoped. Plus, in the event of another invasion, we might be able to access the guns fast. We needed a quick way to open the unit and decided on fingerprint recognition. We would program the safe to accept any of our fingerprints. This would make it speedier than trying to turn a dial or press a keypad.
Robberies are scary business indeed, especially armed. For this reason we felt it appropriate to take immediate action. We did not want to face a similar situation in the future without some type of protection. It wasn’t just about the money. It is easy to part with it when facing the nozzle of a pistol. It is about the employees’ lives and well-being. We intended to be completely ready for the next possible onslaught.