When Walking Alone: Observe

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It is important to be aware of your surroundings for many reasons but the most important is your life could depend on it. It is also important to try to blend in with the crowd. If you look suspicious, as if you have something of value that you are hiding or look well dressed, and you have no means of protecting yourself you will be an easy target for pickpockets and thieves.

Take fashion and social queues from the local population. Avoid talking too loudly and avoid areas where the crowds congregate as often as possible. If possible leave old clothes in your car or place of work so that if things happen when you are at work you will not fall prey because you are well dressed.

Walking on the street

Be cautious of hiding in tight spaces, there may be others there hiding also waiting for the opportunity to jostle and rob you of your personal belongings.

When walking on the street do not trust females who want to help you find something i.e. place to eat, hotels, bus line etc. They, in many instances, have an accomplice which in turn will rob you or they may take you to a location where the accomplice can rob you. If you need to ask for directions go to a store or other establishment and ask there.

Also, do not give change to someone who asks for it. They may be trying to see if you have any money. The minute you grab your wallet or take money from your pocket he/they may rob you as now they know you have money. Also try not to wear any jewelry or fancy shoes, etc., for the same reasons.

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Walking through public parks

If you are traveling and want to avoid been robbed you can do this. As you walk on a street make sure your belonging i.e. purse, briefcase, bag is on the hand closest to a wall of a store, shop, building, etc. If someone starts to walk towards you walk closer to the “wall” as soon as you can. If the person is there to rob you of your belonging he will be hard-pressed if you holding the item close to the wall.

Also, if you feel that this is the case as soon as the person closes in get your back against the “wall” and turn and look at both directions just in case he has friends.

If you are walking around and have your wallet in the back pocket in a strange city, first take your wallet and place it in the front pocket. This will make it harder, but not impossible, for someone to rob you. Keep your thumb in the pocket where your wallet is and the other fingers out. This is in case you are bumped by a person trying to rob you. This will allow you to react without having to have your whole hand inside the pocket which generally gets stuck when you need it and are wearing jeans.

Be aware of the person who bumps you in the street as he generally has an accomplice who will rob you as you pay attention to him.

Never carry your backpack behind you as the robber will generally cut your backpack and take what he wants as the contents fall down and he will run with what he can get while you are preoccupied with your belongings spread on the ground. Plus it will attract the attention of passerby’s who are desperately wanting a freebie. Carry it on the front of your chest.

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Sitting in a cafe, restaurants, etc.

If you are in a coffee shop or any place to eat do not leave your belonging on your table unattended and go pay for your food, etc. Always carry anything you carry with you at all times, especially when you move out of the table

If a group or someone armed wants to rob you, Grab the item and throw it far away from you and run. Nothing you carry is worth your life.

Riding in a taxi

If you are riding in a taxi and gave the taxi driver the address or the name of the place where you are going to stay, make sure you know the route. It would be a good idea to take your personal phone and google the direction on the GPS. This is so that if the taxi driver veers off to suspicious localities you can ask him/her, why he is going in that direction. If he says that it is because of traffic jams, etc. check your GPS and look for the traffic jam. If he has a GPS it is easy to find out and compare with yours. If he does not have one and he did not receive a call to divert his trajectory, then be suspicious and get ready to call someone and related the incident and do not get off the phone until you are in the place where you are supposed to be or in a safe location.

If you do not have anyone waiting or that can be called locally “fake” the call and say to the “person” on the phone that you may be late because of the traffic jam and, holding the phone as if the person on the other end is listening, ask the driver how long it will take to get to your location. Then relate the message to the “person” on the phone. This will tell the driver that if you are not there by the time specified that the person should contact the police. And if you really feel that you are in danger give the description of the car and driver as well. Again make the driver think you are covered if something happens, especially if you are a woman.

Walk away

When in doubt… get out. Be it in a car, bar, restaurant, bus, etc. Always trust your instincts. It will save you when things get bad.

Avoidance and retreat

If you are in a situation where you cannot leave because someone may be threatening you or someone you may be with, then, it is time to get on the phone and call the police. Always have the police number handy. Also, always tell someone, not in your party, where you are going and when you expect to return. If there is a change of plans let the person know for obvious reasons, even if it is the hotel where you are staying. That way if something bad happens at least someone will know to contact the police.

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