The best way to protect yourself from a crime is to not be there when a crime happens. Obviously, none of us have a crystal ball that works, so sometimes we just take the risk of going out. I go out of my house all the time and hope you do, too. To keep yourself safe, first of all, in the words of John Farnham, don’t do stupid things in stupid places with stupid people.
Spotting criminals is a good way to help know when to leave. If you were at the bank and spotted guys going in to rob the bank, you would want to leave before the robbery started, right? I would!
Spotting a criminal is hard to do. Criminals spend a lot of time blending in with their surroundings and hiding from the world. Criminals don’t look like this:
They look like you and me, they walk among us everyday. If you ask a cop what police officers know that no one else does, the cop will tell you that you interact with felons and dirt bags (someone that makes a living by committing crimes) everyday. So how do we tell when one of those dirt bags is going to commit a crime?
One of the tricks I use all the time is asking myself , “Why is that person there?” To answer that question, we need to notice normal and what is abnormal. Back to the bank example, when you are standing in line at the bank, most people are holding checks they want to deposit, their cards or ID, or some kind of paper work. They are also bored or annoyed. Most will be talking to someone next to him or her, look pissed off, or be on their phone. If someone is standing in line that just keeps looking at the door, cameras, where the employees are, and who is walking in and out of the bank, they might not be there to deposit a check.
Start looking at different people while you are out. Ask the question, “why is that person here?” Then, if you don’t think they are there to commit a crime (because if they are there to commit a crime you should leave before the crime happens), test your theory by watching what happens. At a bank, that should be easy. But at a gas station you can start guessing and testing. If you practice a little, you will get very good at this. I can guess at gas stations to about 99% of the time what people are there for (just to get gas, get a snack, use the bathroom, etc…).
I did a post some time ago about someone that was going to rob a gas station I was in and changed his mind. He was so easy to spot that I knew instantly he was up to no good. If you practice this skill while you are out, it will quickly become second nature and if someone is there to commit a crime, they will be painfully obvious.
I’m challenging you to try this, it will make you safer and make life more enjoyable.