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Stay Alive: 8 Easy Ways To Stop Criminals

tips preventing muggings car jackingsAs a youth, I was actively involved in the Boy Scouts, which is where I learned the importance of being prepared. It’s the Boy Scout motto. That mindset transitioned with me into my career as a law enforcement officer.

As a police officer, I teach people the importance of being prepared and staying safe. Not necessarily for the end of the world, but how to protect themselves from crime, or how to be prepared and what to expect should they find themselves a victim of crime.

Chances are that at some time in your life you, a family member, or a friend has been a victim of a crime. It is a very unfortunate part of not just our society, but of humanity. Because of that, I want to convey some general tips and steps you can do to protect yourself.

The most important tip is to always be aware of your surroundings. Stop texting for a moment and take in what is going on around you. Criminals prey on those who look lost, distracted, and/or weak. So pay attention to your environment. Appear confident. Act like you are in control and are moving with a purpose. Don’t look like an easy target!

There are tens of thousands of muggings and assaults every year in the US. Here are a few more tips to help you avoid becoming a victim:

1. When exiting a building heading to your car, have the key you need to unlock your door already in your hand. Don’t be distracted at your car by fumbling around in your purse or pocket for your car keys.

2. Criminals look for victims that appear to have money or valuables. Avoid wearing flashy, expensive items. Or at least be discrete with them. Carrying large sums of money is not a great idea for obvious reasons.

3. Avoid using ATMs when alone and/or at night. If you need to use one, try to find one in a busy area like a grocery store. Thieves HATE witnesses!

4. Stick to well-populated areas. If you are visiting or are new to the area, try to learn about the area before venturing out into the unknown.

A majority of crimes committed today are crimes based on opportunity. What that means is that the Ocean’s Eleven highly planned and thought-out crimes are not common. Instead, most criminals don’t put much planning into their crimes, if any at all.

Low Cost Way To Defend Yourself Against Lowlife Criminal Scum!

Criminals didn’t scheme when they stole your car. You left it parked in the street, running to warm up while you go back in the house to finish getting ready for work. They didn’t see anyone else around, so they decided “it’s time to go on a joyride.” You presented them an opportunity and they took it.

A car is stolen in the US about every 30 seconds. That is almost 1.2 million stolen cars a year! But here are some tips you can do to reduce the likelihood that your car is one of them:

5. ALWAYS lock your car. Over half of all stolen cars were unlocked at the time they were taken. Lock your car even when driving. (There are almost 50,000 car jackings every year in the US.

6. Never leave your keys in the car, and never leave a spare key in/on the car. Almost one in five stolen cars had a spare key in the car.

7. Don’t leave anything of value in the open in your car. Hide them, place them in the trunk, or cover them with something like a blanket.

8. Don’t rely on only a car alarm. They are so common now that most are ignored. And thieves can break a window and steal your contents in less than 20 seconds. Not much an alarm can do about that.

When parking in a large parking lot (like at the mall, supermarket, etc.), I always try to park beside a tall street lamp. This is smart for a couple of reasons. First, when you leave the building and walk to your car, it is easier to remember where you parked, and those tall lamps are easy to see. Second, if you are delayed for some reason and are now leaving and heading to your car when it is dark, your car will be illuminated. You will also be able to see better if someone is hanging around your car. And finally, the light at night helps to detract thieves from messing with your car. Like I said, they hate witnesses.

These are not 100 percent guarantees that you won’t be a victim. But as the old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

What tips would you add to the list?

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2 comments

  1. Here is another. Keep your head on a swivel. And if you’ve made someone with ill intentions towards you, you need to use your head. Letting them know you’ve seen them can either send them packing or make them attack. If in doubt, seek out a busy area and some form of relative safety. Anything beats being alone in a secluded spot.

    Also, if they come to you in your car, remember you can go a lot faster than they can on foot. And that you are driving a big heavy potential weapon; don’t be afraid to use it that way.

  2. Not bad advice.
    Human predators exhibit the same behaviors as animal predators. They look for a victim that has what they want, and who will be an easy conquest. They also select victims who present the least danger of injury to themselves. One advice is to try to never to look like an easy victim. Stay alert, keep your head up, walk with purpose and energy. If confronted, be assertive, threatening, agitated. If the person approaching you turns out to mean no harm, you can always apologize later.
    Never allow a stranger to approach to within six feet.
    The pattern of a street crime is very consistent.
    1. The decision to commit a crime
    2. Where, and what type of crime to commit. (Includes type of victim).
    3. Selecting a victim.
    4. Approaching the victim to get within attack range (usually under six feet).
    5. The attack.
    6. The escape.

    Learn to recognize this pattern. Know when you have been targeted.
    As part of stages 3 and 4 the victim will frequently be sized up, to confirm that he/she is a good choice. This can take the form of an “interview”, where the victim’s responses are carefully watched. This can take the form of sudden aggressive and threatening behaviors. Understand that if you fail the test, you will be attacked.
    Once 3 and 4 are underway you are in serious danger. Your only possible way to prevent stage 5, is to break the cycle. You must convince the perpetrator that he choose the wrong victim. Make him understand that he risks injury if he moves to the attack phase.
    Of course the very best way to stay safe is avoidance. Avoid locations and situations that pose a higher risk. The first time I was robbed at gun point, I had pulled a half block into a ghetto area, to purchase gas, because it was .5 cents cheaper a gallon.
    Lastly, never rationalize when you perceive potential danger. And, no, being nice, and friendly will not save you.

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