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robbery bannerLet’s talk robbery. This is not one of my favorite crimes to discuss. The reason for this is because robbery is a “surprise” crime. Let me define it for you. Robbery is taking something of value from another person by use of force or the threat of force as well as through the use of intimidation where the victim is present. By this definition it is a face to face confrontation. The only problem is that people who are about to be robbed don’t usually see the robber walking toward them from a great distance before the robbery occurs. There are different forms of robberies ranging from Armed Robbery to Strong Armed Robbery. Armed Robbery involves the use of a weapon or threat of the use of a weapon as in a robber pointed a weapon at the victim. Strong Armed Robbery is more like force as in pushing someone down or punching the victim in the course of the crime. Of course if we had to be confronted with one or the other,  I think we would all prefer Strong Armed Robbery being that no weapons are involved in the commission of this form of the crime.

Being Confronted by a Robber

illustration of big robber on little manI want to discuss what to do if confronted by a robber. If you find yourself standing face to face with an armed robber I would have to suggest that you give him what he’s asking for. Unless you have some special training I would not suggest you get confrontational with an armed subject. Live to fight another day is the motto I would follow in that situation. Now, if on the other hand the subject is not armed I would still suggest you give him what he wants unless you are confident enough in your ability to defend yourself. Every situation can have a different outlook. For instance, if you are with your children at the time, it may not be a good idea to become confrontational under any circumstance. Think about it, if somehow you become unconscious during a fight, there is no one there to make sure the little people who matter are safe from this subject now that he’s upset that you fought back. During any confrontation, if you have been paying attention to your surroundings, you can gauge what your chances of making a scene are. For instance, if you are in a dark alley and alone with the robber, it’s probably a good idea to comply with his demands being that there is no one around to help you or at least witness what is happening to you. Your goal in this situation would be to comply with the robber and get away from him as quickly as you can. On the other hand, if you are in a public place where there are people around, causing a scene could prove to be useful. Screaming, running or fighting (if the robber is not armed), are all options in this scenario. This scenario presents you these options because you now have potential help if someone knows what’s going on. Now If you decide to scream, fight or run, I would suggest you make it known to everyone in the area why you are doing this. It needs to be known that you are being robbed as some people may think you are just involved in a domestic dispute or something similar. Now, although domestic disputes can be serious, most people choose not to get involved because it’s domestic. So, be clear as to what’s happening to you and I believe people will respond accordingly, even if that only means they will contact the police for you.

Tips That May Help You Avoid Becoming a Robbery Victim

home robberyAs I originally stated, robbery is a “surprise” crime. That is, it is a surprise to the victim. The robber usually knows who he is planning to rob before he begins. He may do this by watching his victim’s actions as they carry on with their normal tasks of the day. Even if the robber picks you minutes before he decides to rob you, most likely he will make an attempt to time his approach, which also means he has to watch his victim for at least a short period of time. There are some things you can do that could make the robber think twice about approaching choosing you to be his next victim. One good approach, if you are just out walking or jogging, is to have a dog with you. Dogs are great deterrents for robbers because the robber does not know what the dog might do if he approaches you. This makes you a more complicated target for the robber and most criminals would rather avoid the potential for complications. One last note when referring to dogs, if you are going to have a dog for protection, he has to actually be a dog that at least appears to be able to protect you, meaning no ankle biters. Of course, for the rest of the people don’t have dogs, there are some options in deterring this crime for you as well. One option is to pay attention and when you are paying attention, make sure the average person knows you are paying attention. I don’t mean just stare at people, but eye contact can be very important. If you are making eye contact with everyone you come across than the robber among the people will know you’ve seen him and can probably describe him if he chooses to rob him. The reason I say make eye contact with everyone you come across is because robbers are not always the suspicious looking people. We see people who don’t fit in a scene and we automatically focus on them. This could be useful if you are correct in your observations but if you are not correct and not showing attention to everyone, the robber could manage to get right next to you without you knowing it. pick pocketMaking eye contact with everyone ensures that everyone knows you see them. If the robber is watching you, even if you don’t know who he is, he will know you looked at him and this will hopefully prompt him to move on to someone else. In the best case scenario, the robber will move out of the area all together because he now thinks that if he robs anyone you would be able to give the police a good description. Another deterring method you can use is to carry mace or pepper spray. I’ve seen more women carrying this more than men but it can be a useful tool regardless of who you are. The key to carrying this tool though, is to make it visible. The potential robber needs to know you have it. So I would carry it on the outside as opposed to inside of a purse or a jacket pocket. What this does is tell the robber that you are a fighter and will fight back. Remember this is a potential complication for the robber which will ultimately prompt him to move on. If you are worried about becoming the victim of a crime like Strong Armed Robbery, it would be a good idea to take some self defense courses. This will build your confidence if confronted and most self defense course teach calming methods so you won’t stress as much when confronted and you will think better. If you’re interested in more information in regard to self defense, I discuss it more in debt in the self defense section of this website.

What to Look For If You Are a Victim of a Robbery

bank robberIf you fall victim to a robbery, there are some things that you should look for during the commission of the crime. Now, I know that it will be a stressful situation, because it would be stressful for anyone including myself. But, it is important to make mental notes of some things so that you can give the police as much information as possible about the robber when they arrive. Here is a list of what the police will need in order to get other officers out quickly looking for the suspect that committed this crime against you:  The suspect’s race, height, weight, clothing (including color of shirt, pants, shoes and whether he was wearing shorts or pants as well as a long or short sleeve shirt), hair (including color, length, style or if he’s bald), any Scars or tattoos, skin color/complexion (this can go with race but what complexion is he as in skin tone), tone of voice and exactly what he said to you. I am sure that you won’t remember all of these because of the stress in the moment but even getting a few of these saved to memory for the police can prove to be very helpful in the capture and conviction of this criminal. Also one of the most important things to notice is how the robber got away after the incident (Did he leave in a car or was he running and what direction was the robber last seen going?)