Baristas say they are prepped with defenses after robbery
Two Anchorage coffee huts have been robbed this year -- including one over the weekend.
Because of the recent robberies, the owner of coffee hut Bikini Babes Baristas has prepared her employees with new security additions to the shop, and more training to resist robberies.
"We have a ton of cameras around the outside and inside, and they scope all the way around,” said barista Sarah Evenson. “I feel very confident in her ability to protect us. She gave us new Tasers, the panic button; she made sure the alarm is all done. She doesn’t care if we all carry -- which we do."
Those cameras caught a robbery this weekend at Bikini Babes, where a masked man opened the side window and demanded money from the barista.
Fortunately, Evenson gave the barista on duty a rundown of safety steps the morning of the robbery.
"I said, 'You know where the panic button is,' and she said, 'Yeah,'” Evenson said. “'Well, if you hold it this long then the cops will come.' I showed her the alarm system where the button is for ambulance, fire department and police department. It would also alert our boss and alert anyone else if clicked. There are also motion cameras. We went through a little refresher with mace and the Taser. It was just really weird that was the morning we went over that. "
Evenson says she's surprised coffee huts are being targeted.
"It's so funny people go to coffee stands because it's not like people keep money here. This isn’t like 'Arrested Development,' there is nothing here -- maybe $100."
While making customers' orders, Evenson feels safe having her defenses an arm's length away.
"I keep it all right here. This is, like, my area where I put my coffee, my water," Evenson said. "If you carry a gun, just know how to use it and someone isn’t going to use it against you."
Sarah Stallone, with Accurate Advantage, says one type of defense you can use is a stun gun.
“This takes very little training; the biggest thing we encourage is how will you get it out -- where will you carry it?” Stallone said. “We can't react perfectly in a stressful situation if we’ve never thought about it or trained in that way, so it is vital.”
No matter what, Stallone says, in those types of situations no amount of money is worth a life.
“Everything is replaceable except life. Your life is worth more than anything else and protecting that life should be the highest priority,” Stallone said. “Building layers defensively, whether it's stun guns or firearms, it may make you feel safer, but our mindset is more important than any tool we have. So, put your mind there first, have a plan developed, [have] those skills developed, those muscle memory processes that you can’t lose under pressure and make sure you’re ready in case of a threat.”
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