'Office Creeper' prompts questions of work place security - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

'Office Creeper' prompts questions of work place security

Source: NBC12 Source: NBC12
Ameenah Franks is accused of gaining access to the Richmond Federal Reserve bank and other buildings to steal from employees (Source: Portsmouth Jail) Ameenah Franks is accused of gaining access to the Richmond Federal Reserve bank and other buildings to steal from employees (Source: Portsmouth Jail)
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

Are you safe from intruders, even thieves in your workplace? It's a natural question after the so-called "Office Creeper" was indicted on charges in Richmond. She conned her way into numerous federal buildings 10 years ago, at the height of post 9/11 security.

She recently pleaded guilty to doing it all over again in Norfolk, and 31-year-old Ameenah Franks is facing charges in Richmond for getting inside four workplaces, including one of the most secure buildings in downtown RVA: the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

"It's not something that comes naturally," said Emiel Fisher, president of the security firm RDP Worldwide. "The government pays a lot of money for people who can do what she is doing right now."

Fisher has never met Ameenah Franks, but he's read all about her over the years and says we all could learn a lot from studying her crimes - especially the security teams in the most recent buildings she's accused of breaching.

"Complacency for a security standpoint… I see it all the time," said Fisher. "If you don't push the guys on the security team almost every day to always be looking for it...because it's the little things," said Fisher.

He adds that we should all keep our valuables and purses out of sight - even at your desk. Especially when we are not around.

"She can go through the bag or whatever, it only takes 10 seconds," said Fisher. "If there's nothing to grab right then, she goes on."

In large offices, you may not know everyone's name, but you do know the co-workers on your particular floor, you know their faces at the very least.

"If you see somebody that's not in place that's an anomaly, then report it," said Fisher. "Either talk to one of your office mates or call security."

Over the years, Frank's scam was to dress the part. She looked like she belonged and would then go desk-to-desk.

Fisher says once security on the outside of a building is breached and a thief gets by the guards and cameras and through the lobby, often times the
rest is up to you.

"Pay attention to your gut. If something doesn't seem right, then say so. What have you got to lose?"

Franks will be sentenced in May in Norfolk. No trial date has been set for her charges in Richmond.

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