Even though the number of robberies in the US is slowly decreasing, they still affect many Americans every year. According to the FBI, about 267,988 robberies were reported in 2019.
Also, out of every 100,000 inhabitants, 81.6 were robbed in 2019. Robbers choose victims who are alone and look vulnerable. Usually, they act when there are no witnesses around, in places like alleys, parks, or empty streets.
Being robbed is a traumatic experience for many people, but there are several things you can do to prevent it from happening again. Knowing how burglars and robbers choose their victims can help you avoid these situations.
Ways to Prevent Being Robbed (Again)
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Walking in the street, you should always be aware of your surroundings. Don’t walk looking at your phone or listening to music, and pay attention to what’s going on in the street. Noticing the people, vehicles, and stores around you can help you avoid being robbed and take action in case of one.
By being aware of your surroundings, you can spot suspicious individuals from far away. Paying attention also helps you notice changes in streets and neighborhoods. If you don’t know an area very well, you want to pick the streets that look the safest. These are often central streets with numerous stores, businesses, and people.
Don’t Walk Alone
Robbers look for people who are alone because they are vulnerable. Also, robbers don’t like crowds because there are too many witnesses. Try to stay with crowds as much as possible, and always choose streets with pedestrians. Even though it can happen, it’s more difficult to get robbed with many people around.
However, pickpockets and scammers love crowds because they can quickly disappear. Some of the cities with the highest number of pickpockets are European cities like Barcelona and Rome. The streets are full of tourists, making it easier for pickpockets to hide. To avoid pickpockets, keep your wallet in a zippered pocket of your bag or your front pocket. On the subway, never stand near the exit doors.
Don’t Carry Valuable Items
An excellent way to avoid being robbed is not to carry valuable items with you. Avoid wearing expensive watches or jewelry. Another option is leaving your watch or jewelry in the car. Hide them underneath a seat or in the glove compartment.
Also, depending on the place you are going to, think about how you dress. If you visit a place that’s a bit rough, don’t wear expensive clothes that can call the attention of robbers. Try to dress in a way that helps keep a low profile.
When traveling, leave expensive items at the hotel in a safe, and don’t carry your passport if necessary. Once you are in the country, you don’t need to carry your real passport around. You can bring a photocopy and your driver’s license for identification purposes. Something travelers can use is a pack that you wear inside your shirt to conceal cash and passports.
Beware of Strangers Asking for Directions or the Time
A common tactic robbers use to get people to stop walking is asking a question. Robbers usually ask for the time and directions because it distracts people for a couple of seconds. While you are looking around, thinking about directions, or looking down at your watch, a robber can quickly pull out a weapon or twist your arm.
Be careful about suspicious individuals asking questions. Don’t get distracted and just keep walking at a fast pace. Also, you can maintain a safe distance and assess the situation quickly. If there are many people around and the situation feels safe, answer the question without letting the person approach you.
Invest in a Home Security System
“My house got robbed will they come back” is a common question home robbery victims have. Burglars look for homes that are low-risk targets, with easy access and low security. An alarm system or outdoor camera are excellent devices to improve your home’s security and deter thieves. “Beware of Dog,” or security signs, also act as an effective deterrent.
If you have been repeatedly burgled, robbed, or mugged, this might be difficult. However, looking confident can help avoid getting mugged again. The way you carry yourself can communicate a lot to a robber. When interviewed, convicted robbers state that they pick individuals who look weak or vulnerable.
Always walk like you know where you are going. Walk at a good pace, keep your head up, and stand up straight. Look people in the eye without being too intense: try to look confident and relaxed at the same time. When traveling, don’t walk around with a map in your hands.
Take a Self-Defense Class
If getting robbed is something that scares you, try a self-defense class. No one should have to walk around feeling anxious about being robbed. A self-defense course can help you gather the confidence to walk everywhere without worrying.
Martial arts are a great way to learn basic self-defense skills. Boxing, Karate, or Krav-maga can be very helpful. Many people prefer Krav-maga because it’s a mixture of several martial arts and skills developed by the Israeli military.
Research a Place Before Traveling
Before traveling to a different state or country, it’s essential to research the area well. Look up official crime rate statistics and if you travel to a dangerous place, take the necessary precautions. Ideally, you want to avoid visiting any areas that have a high level of crime.
When traveling to a new city, mark on a map or note down all the dangerous areas. This way, if you are walking around a city visiting museums or monuments, you’ll avoid walking into a dangerous area without knowing.
Don’t Leave Doors or Windows Unlocked at Home
“My house got robbed will they come back” is a question many people have after experiencing a burglary. Often, burglars come back to the same house because they know it’s a vulnerable target. Make sure you always close windows and doors before leaving the house. Also, you can improve the security of your door with Smart locks made from more resistant materials.
Leave a Car Parked in the Driveway
A simple trick to outsmart burglars is to leave a car parked in the driveway. Burglars look for evidence that you aren’t home, and if they see a car in the driveway, they’ll think twice before approaching your home.
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Regain Your Confidence After a Robbery
Robberies are one of those things you never think about much until it happens to you. By following these tips, you are taking some basic precautions that will help you avoid falling victim again. Remember that robberies can occur anywhere, even in broad daylight, so secure your home and stay aware of your surroundings.
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