Be Alert, Not a Target
How aware are you of your surroundings or what you’re doing on a day to day basis?
Many of us seem to act on “auto-pilot” for most of our everyday activities…
But did you know that you could be making yourself a target for muggers, thieves or worse?
Baby Boomers like myself, often make themselves targets and are oblivious of what they’re doing that could create a problem.
Times are different from when people my age were growing up…
And due to many forces at work, such as absentee parents or more violently graphic material being available to kids these days, I truly believe there are a lot more sociopaths out there than ever before.
These people rob, beat, cause great bodily harm and sometimes kill without any remorse whatsoever.
Many of these people are supporting drug and alcohol habits and choose not to hold a legitimate job.
They don’t care who they hurt or how badly they hurt someone – their objective is to take what you have no matter what, and if that means causing a crippling disability – then so be it.
Please believe that to these predators, age is not a factor. In fact, the older you are, the easier it is for them to take what you have.
I don’t want to create paranoia, but I do want you to realize that this sort of thing is real and does happen, unfortunately, more often than you think.
Not too long ago I wrote about bullies, and these thieves and robbers also fit into that category as well as being criminals.
I also gave you a list of ways to help avoid these situations, which I want to mention again.
- Stand straight and keep your shoulders back
- Avoid the loud and boisterous
- Keep a positive attitude
- Don’t show fear
- Eat right
And now I’m going to talk about important ways to avoid attracting and being accosted by these kinds of people, or what we on the force call “predators”.
There are some things that we have no control over, like our age, so usually the older we get we become an easier target. And while you can’t ward off the birthdays, you can avoid becoming a target, and here are a few tips…
Ladies!! This one is for you…
The bigger the hand bag the more noticeable it is.
You know what I’m talking about, the large leather bag with all of your personal information and probably necessary medication in it; it has two straps so you can hang it on your shoulder.
The bad guys love them; they can spot that beautiful designer bag a block away, and when they get close enough, those big beautiful bags are easier to grab and hold onto while they’re running away.
The other day Rosemary and I were standing in a checkout line at a local supermarket and I happened to notice a younger fellow (by his attire and demeanor not an upstanding citizen) eyeing an older, well-dressed lady in the next line.
By the direction of his fixed gaze, he had obviously targeted the ring on her left hand, at least a 2kt diamond, and further observation revealed an attractive tennis bracelet, diamond earrings and a gold watch with inlayed diamonds.
She was a target and had no idea what was happening around her.
I looked at the younger man and said, “Sure is some nice jewelry she’s wearing, isn’t it?”
He glared at me and didn’t respond.
The lady picked up on what just happened and became nervous…hopefully, she learned something that afternoon.
Whether you man or woman, you should be mindful of what you’re wearing when you leave home, because fellas, you can be a target as well.
You’re the ones that wear the more expensive Rolex watches. The predators see you as more of a fighter than the women, so their attack on you will be more severe.
You’re well dressed driving a late model Cadillac or other upscale car and wearing expensive jewelry and you go to the local supermarket, you could be a target.
A short while back an older lady that lives on my beat was beaten and robbed when she left church, walking into a nearby public parking garage.
The thief took her purse, ripped her wedding ring from her finger and left in her car.
Although it happened in another town, we did extra patrol by her home because of all of the personal information in her wallet, and the bad guy would obviously have her address and her house keys.
Think about where you’re going and what you’ll be wearing when you get there – know that there are predators and given the right set of circumstances they’ll strike!
Practice and learn to be aware of your surroundings.
When you arrive at a destination check out the area – if it doesn’t feel right, leave. You’re not being bullied you’re being alert and safe. Don’t let anyone tell you different.
Park in an area that will be well lighted after dark, try not to be the last one leaving an event or get together and even try leaving with a group or a friend.
Know where you parked. If necessary, pick out a marker and say it out loud. Then you’ll be able to walk directly to your car without looking confused or lost, a sure sign of a target.
Have your keys out and ready when you get to your car. You’re not alert and aware of your surroundings if you’re standing there fumbling around in a bag or pocket looking for car keys.
Think about what you’re doing, don’t make yourself a target.
And never say “I’m too old” or “I can’t” because you’re not and you can.