According to the FBI Uniform Crime Reports, 44.5% of all robberies happen on the street. An average of 447k robberies happens every year in the United States at a rate of one per minute. So it is important to understand how to protect yourself from robbers.
Of course, city slickers face more of a chance of being robbed over country dwellers. Robberies are typically big city crimes where large metropolitan cities experience a robbery rate of 173 per 100k population. Small cities only report an average robbery rate of 62 per 100k population.
Regardless of where you live there is still the potential of being robbed. This is why we prepare now. In order to do so, we need to understand how to protect yourself from robbers so that you can live without great bodily harm. Below you will find my tips on how to do so.
How to Protect Yourself from Robbers
Develop and practice situational awareness
By developing situational awareness you can prevent yourself from becoming a target of a robber. This doesn’t guarantee that you will never face a robbery but does improve your odds. The better you become at situational awareness the safer you will become.
You will need to establish a baseline for every situation that you find yourself. By establishing a baseline you easily spot outliers or threats. The baseline is something that is normal for that specific situation or location.
For example, if you are in a busy downtown area during the day then most people will be walking with purpose trying to get to work or run errands. People that are walking around with no purpose should raise red flags. So if you see someone wandering around people watching then most likely they are up to no good.
By identifying the threats you are able to avoid those areas or people. You should also identify escape routes. That way if a bad guy comes your way then you can avoid or deter them.
Be careful communicating with strangers
Some robbers will attempt to build trust with you in order to lure you into a vulnerable location or situation. Sometimes robbers will stop passer byes asking them for directions or general questions. These questions are designed to buy the robber time while probing you to see if you have anything valuable or to see if you are able to properly defend yourself.
Become more of a threat
Robbers typically target people who are small and/or weak. This is why it is important to be in physical shape. If a robber knows that you can kick some ass then they will most likely move on to the next potential target.
Create a distraction from being followed
If you notice that you are being followed then try to create some sort of distraction so that you can get away. Most robberies tend to be against one person by one robber and finishes in less than a minute. So you can quickly lose a potential robber by walking into a crowded place and blending in.
If that doesn’t stop you from being followed then you can stop someone to begin talking with them. It would be helpful if you even told them that you felt like someone was following you. If you feel really threatened you can begin yelling out for help.
If you don’t want to go that far then you could set off an alarm or break a glass. This will immediately grab the attention of everyone in your vicinity putting all eyes on you. This will change the robber’s mind real quick.
I generally carry a personal alarm on me at all times. This little small tool has a loud ass siren which is sure to get a lot of people’s attention. It can be latched onto your keychain or belt loop.
Become the gray man
The purpose of being a gray man is that you blend in so that you don’t become a target, to begin with. So it is important to understand how to be a gray man on an everyday basis. Robbers typically look for people who are carrying valuable and flashy items. The gray man is ordinary in every way and doesn’t catch the attention of others or leave an impression to be remembered by.
For example, if you are wearing expensive brands or patterns like Louis Vuitton then a potential robber knows that you are carrying something valuable or have money on you. This is especially true for women who carry these expensive purses. Robbers know all too well what are expensive brands and designs because it is a good pay day for them.
For the most part, I tend to wear non-flashy items like a G-Shock watch. You won’t really see me with a shiny blinged out watch or jewelry. The gray man doesn’t want to draw attention from anyone, especially robbers.
Don’t go home if you are being followed
You may think that home is the safest place to be when you are being followed. However, this isn’t always the case especially if the robber knows that you are home alone. At that point, you have essentially led them to more valuable items that they can grab. It is better to go to a police station or public location where you can call for assistance.
Try not to travel alone at night
As I mentioned earlier, most robberies happen on individuals by a single robber. If you are traveling with a group of people then you automatically outnumber the robber. This would cause more work which the robber doesn’t want to do. Most robberies happen in the less than a minute. Instead, they are more likely to opt for an easier target.
Avoid dimly lit areas
This should be a no-brainer but I still see tons of people walking alone in dark alleys at night. These people are more trusting of others than I am. That is for sure.
Robbers love dark alleys and locations because you can’t see them coming. Not only that but others can’t seem them attack you. Dark areas also hinder you from properly defending yourself.
Keep small amounts of money in your pockets
By having small amounts of money in your pocket you are reducing the risk of losing everything when you are robbed. Also, by having small amounts of money in your pocket you can quickly throw it on the ground in front of a robber and slowly take off. This will leave the robber preoccupied with picking it up off of the ground.
For the most part, robbers are not going to strip you butt naked to make sure that they got all of the money off of you. For that reason, you can hide money in different pockets or holes like in the heel of your shoe. I actually carry a travel carry belt that can hold my valuables under my clothes.
Fight or flight
When considering how to protect yourself from a robber you might have to one day defend yourself from them. Some robbers can become violent or unsatisfied with the amount of money that you gave them. This will leave you with 2 options to either fight or flee.
We want to avoid and deter any violent situation that we can. However, you should have some sort of self-defense training just in case. Now when I suggest training I’m not talking about watching YouTube videos like a couch potato. You need to actually get some lessons where you not only learn but can apply and practice your skills.
LEGALLY use your conceal carry
Finally, if you are left with no other option you may have to defend yourself using a firearm. Of course, this should only be used legally when you are facing death or great bodily harm. You should not only learn when to shoot to shoot someone in self-defense but also what happens if you shoot someone in self-defense.
Regardless of the fact that you are defending yourself, there will be a legal process that follows afterward. It may be that you will be arrested and detained for questioned. If you have properly defended yourself legally then you will be justified.
Otherwise, you can end up paying for bail, finding a lawyer and paying court fees. This is why it is important to have CCW insurance to help you pay for these bills so that you can defend yourself in courts. United States Conceal Carry Association is who I use for CCW insurance. I may never need it but in the case that I do, they will be ready to assist me without putting me in a financial bind. It is just like car or health insurance.
Altogether these would be my tips on how to protect yourself from robbers. If you have any feedback or suggestions then please leave them in the comment section. Your feedback helps the community prepare the smart way now so that we can thrive later.
Photography by David Clow