Store robbery is a feature in the Grand Theft Auto series which involves the theft of money from selected stores or businesses in a city. Robbery of businesses have been a staple element of specific missions the series since the first game, but the ability to rob a business at any moment of the game was only introduced in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and resurfaces in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories and Grand Theft Auto IV.
GTA Vice City
Store robberies were first implemented in GTA Vice City as a side activity that can be executed at any point of the game by entering specific stores in Vice City, and threatening their store attendants at gunpoint, by either aiming them with the aid of an auto-aim in the PC version with "Classic Control" or the console versions, or by pointing the crosshair at the attendant while using "Standard Control" in the PC version.
The longer the player aims their weapon at the store attendant, the more money is dropped on the counter for the player to pick up. However, for each drop, the player's wanted level is raised by one star, capping at a 3-star level; the amount of money the player may receive ranges from a low of less than $100 to a maximum of several thousand dollars, rewarding the player increasingly at the expense of being confronted by more aggressive law enforcement.
Robberies can only be performed at stores where store attendants donning brown uniforms are on duty; as such, attendants at restaurants like Well Stacked Pizza and North Point Mall food court outlets and Ammu-Nation stores will not give the player anything in stick-ups. There are a total of 15 stores that can be robbed all over the city, and the act of robbing all 15 outlets (of any amount of money) is a requirement for attaining 100% completion. The stores' names, if available, and locations are as follows:
- All three hardware stores (Bunch of Tools, Tooled Up, and Screw This);
- Vice Point jeweler, just north from the Vice Point Well Stacked Pizza;
- Corner Store, between El Swanko Casa and the North Point Mall;
- Dispensary + in Vice Point, just west from the Corner Store;
- Gash (ground floor counter) at the North Point Mall;
- Vinyl Countdown at the North Point Mall;
- Family Jewels at the North Point Mall;
- Ryton Aide in Little Haiti;
- Laundromat in Little Haiti;
- Café Robina in Little Havana.
- Coffee Bagels Donuts, across the street from the Little Havana VCPD.
- Dispensary + in Downtown, just east from Rock City.
- Downtown jeweler, across the road from the Downtown Well Stacked Pizza.
GTA Vice City Stories
In GTA Vice City Stories, the game's rendition of Vice City introduces a myriad of new businesses with interiors that can be entered and robbed. However, the mechanics of store robberies is modified, and as a result no longer requires the player aim their weapon at the store attendant. Instead, the player may simply kill the attendant, or force the attendant to hand over their cash onto the counter by destroying anything of value within the store (i.e. supermarket refrigerators, clothing racks, or electronics items) using any weapon. The returns from basic store robberies are often very low (at least $100), and store attendants may refuse to pay up even if the player destroys store property (which may prompt the player to simply kill the attendant anyway for money).
Businesses that can be robbed in the game include the following:
While stores at the Vice Point Mall feature interiors and store attendants, none of them can be robbed in a similar manner.
Store robbery in GTA IV is significantly simplified. Players no longer require to threaten or kill a storeowner, but simply walk up to their counter's cash register and open the tray to obtain their cash; as a repercussion, the player may either receive a one-star wanted level 10 seconds after the robbery, or an instant one-star wanted level in the case of Modo as the store has an alarm that immediately goes off the moment the player steals from the cash register. Often times, the amount stolen may only range from a high of a couple hundred dollars to a low of nothing at all, making the business of robbing stores far less lucrative.
Stores that can be robbed in GTA IV include:
- All TW@ outlets (at the eatery's counter);
- Laundromats; and
- The Korean store damaged during "Bull in a China Shop", but only accessible through glitch or modifications.