Tips on how to avoid being robbed
Robbery, by definition, is to take something from an individual by direct use of, or threat of, violence. It is "give it up or else." This is different from theft, which is committed through stealth (i.e. a pickpocket) or when you are not present (i.e. burglary).
It cannot be stressed enough that with robbery the criminal has come prepared to commit violence. There is no "warm up time" for the criminal. When he walks up to you he has already escalated it to the point where using physical violence makes sense to him.
This makes such encounters extremely dangerous from the get go. The victim seldom has a chance to "shift gears" fast enough to effectively defend herself. This is why it is critical for a would-be victim to recognize the developing danger signs of such an attack. And, having done so, take evasive maneuvers BEFORE the attack occurs. A common tactic is for the robber to just walk up and shoot a victim without warning. As the person is laying on the ground screaming in pain, the criminal takes what he wants.
This is why knowledge, awareness and avoidance are your best bets for staying safe from robberies. With these you can prevent yourself from being put into a position where you can be robbed. There is good news, however, the deterrents that successfully prevent a mugging also work against rapes by a stranger.
Tip #1 For a week, pretend to be a mugger.
Pretend that you are the bad guy and are going to ambush someone. Where would you stand in order to observe people entering and leaving in areas you regularly go? Where could you stand so they approach you or you could approach them without you being seen?
Reason: Criminals seldom actually hide. It takes too long to emerge from a real hiding space. They most often position themselves in locations where they are not immediately seen. For example, many parking structures have areas where people exiting the elevators don’t look. People stepping off the elevator usually look towards their cars, not into a cubbyhole near the elevator. By standing there, criminals can watch a parade of potential victims. These areas are located where they can easily intercept a person or approach from behind. By playing this game, you acquaint yourself with such spots in areas where you regularly go. By being aware of these spots, you also tend to unconsciously check them. If you see someone loitering in such a location, it is a serious danger sign.
Tip #2 When entering a "fringe area" glance around to see if anyone is about
This especially means looking behind you. By simply glancing around in certain areas you can reduce your chances of being raped or robbed by 90 percent! It takes no more than two seconds when stepping out of an elevator into a parking structure, walking into a parking lot, when approaching an ATM or stepping onto a train platform to assess if there is potential trouble present.
Reason: It lets you see trouble BEFORE it can position itself. If you don’t see anyone, return to your thoughts or the task at hand. You have guaranteed your safety — with no more than a three-second investment. If someone is present, see if they are engaged in normal activities for that area. In a parking lot, a family walking to their car is engaged in normal activity for that area. In that case, return to what you were doing. However, a shady looking individual loitering against the wall is not acting normally for someone in a parking lot. This is a potentially dangerous situation, but unless he begins to move towards you, you are probably safe. If it is a group of loiterers, steer well clear of them or return to where you came from and request an escort.
If an individual or group of such characters begins to move towards you, leave the area. One of the most common forms of robbery, carjacking and kidnap for rape involves the criminal(s) loitering near the mall entrance and following the victim to her car. By just looking behind you as you enter a parking area, you can prevent this by knowing to circle back to the entrance.
Simply stated, this glance allows you to see what is occurring. Very seldom will the criminal be in perfect position to attack you when you enter an area. He must move into better position to attack you. By glancing around you will see him while he is still in this pre-position and take evasive measures before he gets into attack position. If the criminal can successfully position himself he will attack.