How to Protect Yourself from Armed Robbery

While a purse snatching is one of today's most common crimes 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. When waiting for a bus or streetcar, try to select a well lighted area. Aim for a busy stop where many people will be coming and going.
  5. Don't hitchhike or accept rides from strangers.
  6. Avoid taking shortcuts through deserted areas such as parks, playgrounds, vacant lots, etc.
  7. Be cautious entering your car - someone may be hiding inside. Or, when leaving your car - someone may be waiting. Park in well-lighted areas.
  8. Never carry weapons that can be used against you.
  9. If someone ask directions, keep a polite but safe distance.
  10. If you are alone and think you are being followed, head for an occupied building such as a bar, restaurant, filling 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:

  1. DO NOT RESIST! Cooperate! Give the criminal whatever he ask for--wallet, keys, jewelry, credit cards or whatever. Your life is more valuable than replaceable possessions.
  2. Don't make any sudden, unexpected moves. A nervous criminal may think you are reaching for a concealed weapon.
  3. If the suspect claims he has a gun, knife, razor or whatever in his pocket, never try to force his bluff.
  4. Never try to be a hero and apprehend the criminal yourself.
  5. Notify police as soon as possible.

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