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Posted: 12/9/2003 8:00:34 PM EDT
www.omaha.com/index.php?u_np=0&u_pg=1638&u_sid=940982


Managers 'petrified' by robbery training session

BY DAVID HENDEE



WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER

Hugging the floor of the convenience store and cradling her head in her arms, Kristin Johnson waited to hear the click of the trigger.

One image seared her mind: Norfolk, Neb., where five people were killed last year in a bank massacre.

"My first thought was, 'Oh, my God, I am going to die.'"

But the terrorized Johnson wasn't physically injured. She and six other managers were unknowing participants in an armed-robbery training session organized by their employer, the Lincoln-based Gas 'N Shop convenience stores.

The episode took only seconds to unfold Nov. 14 at the company store in Schuyler, Neb., where the managers gathered for one of their periodic meetings. Johnson said she still has panic attacks and headaches because of the incident and quit her job because of the anxiety.

"I can't do this anymore - wondering what's coming in when you hear the doorbell," Johnson said.

Johnson, who would have marked her second anniversary next month with Gas 'N Shop, said the incident unnecessarily traumatized her and could have ended in disaster if a hunter or other armed passer-by intervened.

Gas 'N Shop executives were not available for comment Monday. Dorothy Bockoven, the company attorney, had no comment beyond saying: "This is an internal training matter and not for public comment."

Gas 'N Shop Inc. operates about 70 gasoline station-convenience stores in Nebraska. Last year, the company had 530 employees and revenue of $107.6 million.

Schuyler Police Chief Leonard Hilter, whose department provided two officers to pose as the bandits, declined to comment.

Nebraska State Patrol Major Bryan Tuma said reality-based training is a widely accepted practice by law enforcement agencies.

"People react in situations the way they are trained," Tuma said. He said he was commenting generally and not on the Schuyler episode.

Johnson said that she assumed the managers' meeting last month would be about hiring and other "simple things."

Four of the 11 managers and supervisors at the Schuyler store that morning knew in advance of the bogus holdup.

One was the Schuyler manager, who was told by police not to load a video tape into the surveillance-camera system. The other was the Norfolk manager, whose store was the site of a killing in 1995.

Johnson described the Schuyler incident this way:

"We were just chit-chatting, waiting for a manager who was late, and these two guys come running into the store. One yelled, 'Get down on the floor! Get down on the floor!' He had a shotgun. . . .

"I immediately hit the floor. He started yelling for our purses."

Johnson's purse was on the table. "I was petrified."

A shotgun-toting man wearing jeans, a dark stocking cap and a hooded gray sweatshirt stood over Johnson and 10 colleagues.

Johnson's mind raced. "I figured that they were going to kill us just like those other guys did to the people at the bank in Norfolk. I lay there and thought to myself that I was never going to see my husband and children again. I thought of my daughter and how attached she is to me. I thought I'd never see my son graduate."

About 30 seconds later, the gunmen left, and the managers locked the door and dialed 911.

"I didn't know if I was going to puke or pass out," Johnson said.

A uniformed Schuyler police officer, who apparently learned of the ruse only minutes earlier, soon arrived and had the victims describe the gunmen.

Then the gunmen returned and displayed their police badges.

The managers were told that the guns were not loaded and that the exercise was to see how they would react.

"I heard very little of what they said," Johnson said. "I was angry; I was just glaring. They told me to get over it."

Johnson said she couldn't bring herself to go to work the following Monday because of anxiety. She worked a few hours Tuesday and quit.

Johnson, who has been the victim of "grab-and-run" robbers who take beer or soft drinks, said Gas 'N Shop policy is for employees not to resist robbers.




Link Posted: 12/9/2003 8:06:31 PM EDT
Very very stupid thing to do. If one of the people not "in the know" had been carrying, there would be two dead cops. Stupid. The managers who did this should be fired immediately. The police who went along with it should also be fired... stupid stupid stupid.
Link Posted: 12/9/2003 8:08:59 PM EDT
Nebraska State Patrol Major Bryan Tuma said reality-based training is a widely accepted practice by law enforcement agencies.
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might be great training for law enforcment, sounds kind of shitty for a convience store though. too bad one of the managers wasn't carrying.......that's what i would call reality-based training.
Link Posted: 12/9/2003 8:10:18 PM EDT
Yep, pretty damn stupid. Like others said, damn good thing someone wasn't carrying a handgun.
Link Posted: 12/9/2003 8:11:50 PM EDT
Yeah, you know, I have the same response to this article as I did the other night watching "Scare Tactics". If someone tried that shit on me, I don't think we'd make it to the punchline.
Link Posted: 12/9/2003 8:12:46 PM EDT
Does Nebraska have CCW? Even if they didn't, if I had been one of the managers on the floor and knew that there had been recent murders in that same sort of situation, I would have presumed that if I didn't do something I would be dead, so I might as well lose my knife in one guys throat before they killed us. And then I'd sue the living excrement out of my employer, just on general principle.
Link Posted: 12/9/2003 8:14:57 PM EDT
Originally Posted By METT-T: Yeah, you know, I have the same response to this article as I did the other night watching "Scare Tactics". If someone tried that shit on me, I don't think we'd make it to the punchline.
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That's funny. My wife and I watched that show and she looked at me and said "Can you imagine the legal headache if they pulled that on you?"
Link Posted: 12/9/2003 8:22:02 PM EDT
Originally Posted By 455SD:
Originally Posted By METT-T: Yeah, you know, I have the same response to this article as I did the other night watching "Scare Tactics". If someone tried that shit on me, I don't think we'd make it to the punchline.
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That's funny. My wife and I watched that show and she looked at me and said "Can you imagine the legal headache if they pulled that on you?"
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In the one I saw some guy wearing mask came broke thru a glass door of a house and came at some girl with a machete while she was sitting on the couch. That is seriously fucked up, man. Same scene with arfcom member: (Guy crashes thru door) Guy: RAAAAA!!!! Arfcommer: Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Guy: Arrrgghhh..(gurgle) (staggers back out door and collapses in yard) Director: Cut!
Link Posted: 12/9/2003 8:27:33 PM EDT
Funny, the GF and I were watching that show once (Scare Tactics) and she said the EXACT same thing-that if someone ever tried that with me, there'd be hell to pay all around. BTW, THIS IS MY 500th POST. Shit, I hang around here THIS much?? Maybe I need to join. Ahhhh.....I sense another Christmas present. [peep]
Link Posted: 12/9/2003 8:39:41 PM EDT
Intended purpose: 'learn to obey robbers. we will train you not to fight back' Problems: Apart from the distaste some/many of us will have for the purpose, the possibility of 'help' showing up and thinking it's for real (weather it was an armed citizen, or a squad that was 'out of the loop' and in for gas/coffee/etc...).
Link Posted: 12/9/2003 8:42:38 PM EDT
I think this was a pretty damn effective way to get management to pay attention. Yes, certainly there were risks involved, but if four of the eleven knew, then it is quite possible that the LEOs knew for a fact no one was carrying. Or not, of course. Even so, while one person may have not been able to hack it, the other ten are probably far more metally prepared for the real thing now. And what if the one manager who froze up was in a store when one of her employees was shot? Would she just stand there shaking while the employee bled out on the linoleum? Better for her to leave now when there is nothing at stake. I can see I am in the minority on this one, but I am all for it.
Link Posted: 12/9/2003 9:04:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/9/2003 9:04:49 PM EDT by Lazyshooter]
Even though most gas and convenient store policies around the nation seem to dictate that employees should not resist and comply with criminal demands and not be armed, this was a stupid mock attack! These guys are lucky they are still breathing.
Link Posted: 12/9/2003 9:23:46 PM EDT
Reality based training - When everybody knows that it is training. This was extremely stupid and they are going to lose the suit. Scaring the shit out of employees is not training. The possibility of a fatal aw shit here was tremendous. Several heads should roll.
Link Posted: 12/9/2003 9:25:52 PM EDT
BAMBAM BAMBAM "training" is over muthaf****
Link Posted: 12/9/2003 10:43:24 PM EDT
hahahaha. There is no CCW in Nebraska. Omaha fights the State House every year when they try to start a ccw program. I work in omaho.
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 4:02:51 AM EDT
Originally Posted By DavidC: Schuyler Police Chief Leonard [blue]Hilter[/blue], whose department provided two officers to pose as the bandits, declined to comment.
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On top of everything else...HITLER?? Ever here of having your name changed?? [whacko]
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 4:06:45 AM EDT
How stupid can you be.
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 4:10:22 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 4:11:50 AM EDT
Holy Crap!! How retarded. Gas 'N Shop is going to be paying out the ass for this little stunt. How is this "training"? What did it teach them? How to pee their pants? Too bad someone wasn't carrying, that would have been real training.
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 4:15:34 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Phil_in_Seattle: BAMBAM BAMBAM "training" is over muthaf****
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My thoughts exactly.
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 4:23:47 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 5:08:15 AM EDT
That is just wrong to do that to your employees.
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 5:20:01 AM EDT
shit, if I'd been SHOPPING in there the S would have HTF. Stupid, stupid, stupid. And I can't even imagine the depth of stupidity that would send some idiot crashing through my door with a machete. OTOH, it might make a good .mpg here on arfcom - man eviscerated with 5.56 fire! My M4 is in arm's length a lot of the time.... you guess when!
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 5:26:56 AM EDT
Maybe I have been living in NY too long, but all I could think after just reading the first post was how rich I would be after getting even with all those assholes, cops and store management! Second thought was would I have the guts to try and smash a chair in the face of the shotgun toter...as unfortunately, we have Carolyn Mccarthy and Chuckie Schumer and Hillary here...
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 5:47:19 AM EDT
Originally Posted By PaDanby: Reality based training - When everybody knows that it is training. This was extremely stupid and they are going to lose the suit. Scaring the shit out of employees is not training. The possibility of a fatal aw shit here was tremendous. Several heads should roll.
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Yup. My question is: how many idiots gave this "training" the greenlight?
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 5:55:38 AM EDT
That cops would participate is mind boggling. Scott
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 6:05:55 AM EDT
How easy it would have been to disarm the shotgun toter, and butt-stroke him with it. What a bunch of f**king idiots. Had I walked in on that, it would have been BAMBAM....BAM and BAMBAM...BAM (Mozambique drill) and a heap of explaining to do.... Ops
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 6:07:31 AM EDT
Just stupid and DANGEROUS IMHO. CRC
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 6:08:45 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Dredd308:
Originally Posted By DavidC: Schuyler Police Chief Leonard [blue]Hilter[/blue], whose department provided two officers to pose as the bandits, declined to comment.
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On top of everything else...HITLER?? Ever here of having your name changed?? [whacko]
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Might want to look at the name one more time. [;)]
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 6:15:12 AM EDT
Call The Wolf. "Clean-up in aisle 2!"
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 6:41:32 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Dredd308:
Originally Posted By DavidC: Schuyler Police Chief Leonard [red]Hilter[/red], whose department provided two officers to pose as the bandits, declined to comment.
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On top of everything else...HITLER?? Ever here of having your name changed?? [whacko]
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Retard.
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 8:22:07 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/10/2003 8:25:29 AM EDT by Nimrod1193]
From the Nebraska Criminal Code
28-311.01 Terroristic threats; penalty. (1) A person commits terroristic threats if he or she threatens to commit any crime of violence: (a) With the intent to terrorize another; (b) With the intent of causing the evacuation of a building, place of assembly, or facility of public transportation; or [red](c) In reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror or evacuation.[/red] (2) Terroristic threats is a Class IV felony.
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The managers who set up the training and the officers involved in the training should be facing criminal charges, IMHO.
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 8:50:24 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Kooter:
Nebraska State Patrol Major Bryan Tuma said reality-based training is a widely accepted practice by law enforcement agencies.
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might be great training for law enforcment, sounds kind of shitty for a convience store though. too bad one of the managers wasn't carrying.......that's what i would call reality-based training.
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I thought the same thing when I read this. A buddy of mine was going to start work at a local "Stop-N-Rob" place this last fall to get some extra Xmas money. He asked the manager if he could carry (he has a Carry permit) and was told "No. The company would rather loose the money than have to go through a lawsuit if you kill someone". He then asked what if the robber wanted to kill me (my buddy) along with taking the money. The manager didn't have an anwser. Needless to say, he didn't start working there.
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 8:55:21 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Aimless: The employees might be restricted to only making worker's compensation claims against the store, but they should be able to sue the police officers and the department
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This one would not be restricted, since this is in no way job duties. They get the store. Note that this was after the execution type massacre of surrendered employees previous. And they are telling them to cooperate and submit. Gotta love *that* message if you are an employee, eh? Some of us would figure "nothing to lose" and attack. Better to be killed for a lion then as a lamb, right? Now, how many stories of cops with NDs involving "unloaded" weapons have you heard of? Could have gotten way ugly here, in lots of ways. Really stupid.
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 9:16:06 AM EDT
I honestly don't think that I've ever read anything this stupid before on AR15.com... And you guys do/say a lot of stupid shit! [:D] And NO ONE (in the PD, the managers, etc.) stopped to think this might not be the best idea? WOW!!!
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 4:58:01 AM EDT
Kick up.
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 5:26:01 AM EDT
What would be the reprocussions against a CCW citizen who (if there had been one there at the time)acted in his/her own defense and blew the "perps" away? Would the "good samaritian Law" cover them?
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