How To Protect Yourself From Armed Robbery
While purse snatching is a common crime facing women, strong-arm robbery (hold-ups, muggings) is the most prevalent act where men are generally the victims. By observing the basic rules of “common sense” your chances of being victimized are greatly reduced. Since most strong-arm robberies occur during the hours between sunset and sunrise, the best rule to follow is simply to stay inside at night.
However, to even consider being confined to a secure area after the sun goes down is not only impossible, it is also ridiculous. By observing basic precautionary measures, chances of your becoming a robbery victim are greatly reduced. Here are some general rules to follow:
- Travel well lighted streets. Avoid dark corners, alleys and entrances to buildings. Always try to walk on the side of the street nearest oncoming traffic.
- If you must travel at night regularly, don’t carry more than you can afford to lose. One suggestion is to carry a second wallet containing a few $1.00 bills and old credit cards, which are normally destroyed or discarded. If confronted at knife or gunpoint, give the suspect the second wallet and concentrate on a good physical description to give to the police.
- There’s safety in numbers! If possible, walk with a companion, either male or female. An armed robber is less likely to confront two or more, than a lone individual.
- Stand erect, look confident, walk briskly, look around your surroundings.
- When waiting for a bus or taxi, try to select a well-lighted area. Aim for a busy stop where many people will be coming and going.
- Don’t hitchhike or accept rides from strangers.
- Avoid taking shortcuts through deserted areas such as parks, playgrounds, vacant lots, etc.
- Be cautious entering your car as someone may be hiding inside. Or, when leaving your car, someone may be waiting. Park in well lighted areas.
- Never carry weapons that can be used against you.
- If someone asks directions, keep a polite but maintain a safe distance. This also applies to asking for directions.
- If you are on an elevator and someone you do not trust enters get out of the elevator.
- If you are alone and think you are being followed, head for an occupied building such as a bar, restaurant, gas station, fire station, etc. If none is available, cross the street in the middle of the block. If there is street vehicular traffic, try to stop a car for help.
IF YOU ARE CONFRONTED . . . . .
- DO NOT RESIST! Cooperate! Give the criminal whatever he asks for: wallet, keys, jewelry, credit cards or whatever. Your life is more valuable than replaceable possessions.
- Don’t make any sudden, unexpected moves. A nervous criminal may think you are reaching for a concealed weapon.
- If the suspect claims he has a gun, knife, razor or whatever in his pocket, never try to force his bluff.
- Never try to be a hero and apprehend the criminal yourself.
- Give the robber time to leave.
- Never chase the robber out of the building. Instead, try to watch them through a window and note any details you can observe.
- Secure the doors so the robber cannot reenter. If outside get inside, get in your car, leave the area.
- Try to note the robber’s method of escape and direction of travel.
- Notify police as soon as possible.