Thefts take place in public places every day within the United States. Whether walking to the subway, entering/exiting your vehicle, or leaving a bar following a late-night date, thieves target bystanders wherever they can.
Throughout your daily life, you can take any necessary precautions to protect yourself and those around you. There are tons of personal protection weapons available to ensure you and your loved ones are safe from thieves. By being prepared, you can effectively be aware of the people around you, helping to keep the streets safe from criminal thievery. Here are some of the best ways you can help to both identify and stop potential thefts from taking place in public places.
Look out for anyone casing a building, home, vehicle, or person.
There are some tell-tale signs when first noticing a thief casing something—inspecting for flaws and weaknesses that would allow for an easy theft. Thieves tend to seek out weaknesses in people, buildings, and vehicles, as they are characteristics that make theft far easier, leading to fewer mishaps and less likelihood of being caught. A thief can often be seen casing something if they are being astutely aware of the details and characteristics of an item/person while doing so in a sneaky way.
This can include roaming around a building while checking for the security of doors and windows to inspecting the items visible through a car’s windows, to sizing up a person to determine whether they would be a physical threat if approached for a mugging. If you see someone doing any of these things, or showing similar signs, you should let it be known that they are seen, either by calling out to ask if they are okay or acting as if you are talking to someone else. It’s best not to escalate a situation if it doesn’t have to be, so approach the situation candidly as not to directly place yourself in harm’s way.
Watch out for a group of people targeting a single person.
In larger cities, you might notice a group of people following a single person late at night. Perhaps this person left a bar and is intoxicated or they left work late and are exhausted. Whatever their condition, walking alone is a prime way to be targeted by a group of thieves looking to prey on an unwitting bystander. If you see anyone being targeted, it is best to bring attention to them, either by ingratiating them into your group of friends as a means of protection or simply calling out to them to raise their awareness and have other people, beyond the possible thieves, be aware of them.
Avoid public commotions and help anyone caught up in them.
Public commotions are a common place for pickpockets to strike, as the increased calamity—particularly if people are aggressively bumping into one another—can make it difficult to notice someone rummaging through your pockets or bags. To avoid such a scenario, stay away from public gatherings that are crowded or aggressive. If you see anyone unwittingly caught up inside of one, consider reaching in to help them out of it. You might just protect them from having their bag ripped from their shoulders or their wallet picked out from their pockets.
Carry a self-defense weapon on you whenever out in public.
Beyond bringing attention to a situation, if you are personally involved in an attempted theft, or see one happening nearby, a self-defense weapon can successfully be used to bring the theft to an end. While it is often recommended that you provide a thief with whatever it is they’re asking for when prompted, solely for your own protection, if they are not threatening you with a weapon you could effectively use a self-defense weapon, such as a stun gun or baton, to incapacitate them. By defending yourself, you can give yourself the necessary time to escape the situation and reach out for help from a nearby source.
If you notice a theft taking place, where someone else is being threatened, you can utilize your self-defense weapon to help scare off the thief. Your best option under these circumstances is to make your presence known, yelling out to the person that you (1) see them and (2) have a weapon, which you are yielding. Some stun guns are combined with flashlights for this very reason, where you can illuminate a potential theft in hopes of stopping the theft from taking place. By literally shining a light on the situation, and making the thief’s presence and identity known, they are more likely to evade the situation to avoid possible repercussions.
Being noticed can be your best option.
Your best bet at stopping a theft is to make sure the situation is noticed by both you and others. Thieves work best when unseen, as they are able to effectively move about their business, taking whatever they wish without the worry of a concerned eye. To help stop a thief in their tracks, it is best to let them know they are seen, and that you are being loud enough to inform others. This might include calling out to the thief while yelling to others around you, or calling the police first and yelling out to the thief to inform them the police have been called on them. If you are being mugged, you should consider raising your voice to passersby, as bringing attention to yourself is a surefire option to get a thief running.
Bring Awareness to Potential Trouble
It’s in your best interest to stop a thief once you first notice them, both for you and others. The thought of losing your personal property to a crime is devastating, so it’s best to protect both yourself and your fellow humans from such reckless crime. Stand up, be aware of your surroundings, and raise your voice to reduce public thievery and crime.