Criminals share the same calendar as you and I. Their lives are no different than ours. They anticipate the holidays and feel the same pressures to provide. But they “shop” in a different way than we do. I’m already seeing news reports of “Woman attacked while shopping” and “Teens jump man leaving jewelry store”
The only thing that separates us from them is the boundaries they have established. While you and I are civilized humans who feel sympathy, empathy and understand personal boundaries, the bad guys don’t.
It is an unfortunate fact that we must cope with this sub-species that views you and I as their natural prey. They look upon us as cattle to be herded and meat to be slaughtered. They think nothing of taking from us and committing violence to get what they want.
Having this knowledge and understanding what you are up against should empower you. By achieving this kind of awareness, you can anticipate and proactively prepare and prevent crime.
The following considerations need to be made as the holidays advance:
Every tip here revolves around “situational awareness”. The more aware you are of every situation, the safer and more secure you will be. Predators seek people who are unaware. By knowing what’s happening around the perimeter of your body you reduce the chances of being chosen by an attacker.
ATM: As you are getting cash look around you, cover the keypad with your other hand as you enter your PIN. If someone makes an attempt to accost you, toss the money and run.
Parking lots: Don’t park near windowless vans. Before you get out of the vehicle scan the area. Once you are on your way continually scan the area around you. If anyone suspicious or aggressive approaches scream and run.
Wallet/purse: Carry “chump change” which is enough dollars to toss in one direction while you run in the other. If they want your purse give it to them. Don’t fight over material items.
Self Defense: If your physical security is in jeopardy offering resistance has been proven more often to get you out of a dangerous situation. Run, fight, kick, scream, and do whatever a 2 pound cat would do to get away.
Leaving the Mall: It’s never good to be loaded down with bags. Get a carriage if possible. If you are shopping late at night get a security guard to walk you out or buddy up with someone leaving the mall.
Back to your car: Scan the area around your car. Look inside the car before getting in. Scan the area around the vehicle while putting your stuff in the trunk. Once inside lock your doors.
Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing self defense on Fox Boston.