FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (4/23/08)--“Be aware, don’t stare,” is the best defense against robbery, former robber and now financial institution security expert Troy Evans told the Texas Credit Union League in Houston. Evans was a former robber who committed crimes at banks and credit unions in several states. At the time of the robberies, Evans was a drug addict and needed money for his next fix, he said (LoneStar Leaguer April 22). Evans lost his wife and son because of his addiction, and he was desperate. He considered himself as in a “win-win” situation where he would either receive the money he wanted, or die in “suicide by police.” Because robbers are often addicted to drugs, it’s hard to predict what they will do, Evans said. “It is imperative that you train your staff members to avoid being the hero if your credit union is robbed,” he said. Credit union staff should greet each person who walks in the door. The last thing a potential robber wants is for someone to make eye contact and start a conversation. The robber “will almost certainly walk out and find another institution to target,” Evans added. Lack of male presence also gives robbers the impression that financial institutions are vulnerable. A male should be present at all times. If that is not possible, one should be present on Friday mornings--when robberies are more likely to happen. All credit union employees should sign a nondisclosure agreement. “I got away with it for so long because I dated a teller,” he said.