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  • Writer's pictureScott Waguespack

Robbery Prevention Tips

  • Always try to walk, jog, or ride your bike with a partner.

  • You should not use alleys as shortcuts, especially when alone and at night. Always use the more heavily travelled streets and sidewalks. While some alleys might seem more convenient, don't take the chance of making yourself a victim of crime.

  • Walk with energy, confidence, and purpose. Hold your head up, look around constantly, be alert, and check your surroundings. Don't make it obvious if you are in unfamiliar territory.

  • Avoid wearing headphones and talking/texting on your phone. One of the main thefts is of smartphones. Make sure not to put yours on display. You also need to be able to see and hear who is approaching from all directions.

  • If a person is walking towards you, make sure to look at them in the eye. A robber is less likely to pick you as a target if they think you will be able to give a good description of them.

  • Beware of pickpockets, especially in crowded areas. Thieves often work in pairs. One may bump you or cut you off, while the other is picking your pocket.

  • Never feel uncomfortable about calling 911 if you see someone acting suspiciously. Make sure you can give a proper description of the person to the call taker; in particular, any distinguishing marks (tattoos, scars, etc). When looking at clothes, always look at the shoes. Someone can take off their coat when running away, but is unlikely to change shoes.

  • Try not to carry bulky purses, bags, or parcels. Purse flaps should be secured and turned toward the body at all times. Wallets should be carried in an inside coat pocket and cash in a front pants pocket. Always keep at least one hand free.

  • If you do take the bus alone at night, sit by the driver, stay awake and alert, and have someone meet you at your stop. If you travel by taxi, have the driver watch you safely enter your destination.

  • Never get in or out of your vehicle without doing a visual sweep of the immediate area for suspicious persons. Be sure that your doors are locked and windows closed. Do not park your vehicle in dimly-lit, isolated areas or parking lots.

  • Ignoring your instincts is simply not worth the risk. If you feel uncomfortable in a place or situation, leave right away and get help if necessary. If you think you are being followed and you don’t feel safe, cross the street, change your route, and prepare to run for help. Know of open businesses and other public areas that you can go to, if you need help.

  • Keep your family or friends advised of your whereabouts and what time you are supposed to arrive or return.

  • Consider carrying a whistle or other noisemaker, and sound it loudly if you are accosted or feel threatened.



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