March - Safe Tips: Avoiding Criminals
Safe Tips: Avoiding Criminals
In the past, we have thought that parking lot crimes and kidnappings only happened in metropolitan areas. Now these areas have moved from the large urban areas to small urban areas and rural areas as well. We want to use this issue to point out some reminders that we are probably aware of or should be, but like many things, we assume or take them for granted.
In light of events that have occurred in our own state, I want to use this issue to point out some tips for avoiding criminals. The U.S. Naval Safety Center thought that it is important enough to issue a memo to all their personnel, so do we as well. Following are some of these tips:
- The elbow is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to use it, do!
- If a robber asks for your wallet and/or purse, don't hand it to him. Toss it away from you. Chances are that he is more interested in your money than you and he will go for the wallet or purse. Run in the other direction or in the direction where there may be a haven of safety.
- If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car, kick out the back taillights and stick your arm out of the hole and start waving like crazy. The driver won't see it, but everybody else will.
- Women normally tend to get into their cars after shopping, eating or working and sometimes to just sit. They may use this time to balance their checkbooks, making shopping lists or just to read or relax. This is a bad habit. The predator may be watching you and this would be an excellent opportunity for someone to get into the passenger side, put a gun to your head, and tell you where to go. As soon as you get into the car, lock the doors and leave.
- When you start to get into your car in a parking lot or a parking garage, be aware and alert! Look around you, look into your car, on the passenger side floor and in the back seat. You can never know when a predator will appear.
- If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger side or the side opposite the van. Most serial killers attack their victims by pulling them into their vans. Women are abducted while attempting to get into their cars.
- Look at the car parked on the driver's side of your vehicle and the passenger's side. If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back intro the mall, or work, and get a guard or policeman to walk you back to your car.
- Always take an elevator out of a building. Avoid the stairwells, they are a horrible place to be alone and are the perfect crime spot.
- If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control, always run. The predator will only hit you (a running target) 4 out of 100 times and even then, it most likely won't be a vital organ.
- Many women want to be sympathetic. This is another bad habit! Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good-looking, well-educated man, who always played on the sympathy of unsuspecting women. He walked with a cane, or a limp and often asked for "help" getting into his car, which is when he abducted his next victim.
- Always try to park in the best-lighted area of parking lots.
As you can see the content of this article is primarily aimed at women. However, men, we have spouses, sisters, daughters, mothers and mother-in-laws that we should pass this on to as well. "A candle is not dimmed by lighting another candle." We should share this with all females that we know and are acquainted with. All the crazies aren't in the larger cities anymore; they're all around us. It might save a life by passing this on. It's better to be safe than sorry."
Text: U.S. Navy Safety Center
Ted Gordon is the Risk Management/Loss Control Manager for the Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. His office is located in the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center, in Verona, MS. His telephone number is 662-566-2201.