How to Avoid Being Mugged

Jeff Rossen, an investigative reporter for NBC’s TODAY, recently aired  in which he goes inside a prison and interviews a convicted felon currently doing 25 years to life for robbery. In the piece, interviewee David Solano reveals that he’s mugged more than 100 people in his life and that he’s decided to share tips to give back.

Straight from a former mugger, here are some tips to help you avoid becoming a victim of a mugging:

  • If someone asks you for the time or directions, don’t break your stride or look down. That’s when you’re most vulnerable. Just keep walking. (Editor’s note: I’d like to think there are exceptions that allow people to help each other, but the fact is if you don’t stop, you reduce your risk.)
  • Don’t wear a watch that’s visible.
  • Carry mace in your hand and have it ready to go. If it’s in your pocket or purse, you won’t have enough time to react.
  • Make a loud noise. David says that he used to target “the person that [would] give [him] the least resistance.” Sadly, that often meant “elderly people.” He would target men more because in his experience the women would scream.
  • Stand in the middle of a subway/train platform and/or near other passengers. (Editor’s note: But be sure your belongings are safe so you can’t be pickpocketed.)
  • In the suburbs, be careful going into a house. David says you have houses on either side blocking the view and the garage in front of you—so there’s just one view a mugger has to worry about. He also warns to look through car windows on all sides before leaving a car.
  • Friday is the day you’re most likely to be mugged since thieves assume you got paid that day.
  • Never to fight a mugger unless you’re a good fighter because it will just escalate the situation. “Give it up. It can be replaced.”

What do you think of these tips? Have your own to share? Leave them in the comments!



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About the Author

I used to be afraid to fly and at times even leave the house! I conquered my fear (long story) and now I travel to 20+ countries a year sharing my firsthand knowledge, tips and deals with friends, family and readers. Please sign up to our free newsletters and tell your friends!

5 Comments on "How to Avoid Being Mugged"

  1. 1. No eye
    2. Scan the sidewalk ahead. Identify potential muggers.
    3. Be aware of anybody within a 10′ radius
    4. Be extra vigilant of anybody within a 3′ radius
    5. Take a wide swing around corners
    6. Beware of a van that slows as it approaches
    7. Same for a motorcycle with a passenger
    8. Be alert always

  2. Great post! This is something that isn’t always thought of when traveling. People need to be very aware of their surroundings and in this world of cell phone watchers, this makes for an easy target for muggers.

  3. Great post. Thank you. I let my guard down and just had (an hour or so ago) a special though not overly expensive piece of jewellery snatched from my neck in Cape Town. I mentioned to my husband we’d walked into a not so nice area here on Christmas Day. I made eye with someone sleeping on the street and nodded to acknowledge him. Walking back I was distracted by a huge doggy daycare and this theft happened when I turned around to continue walking. In retrospect there were a number of young men around which should have alerted me. I was more interested in the dogs! The police were there immediately and gave chase. There were two decoys who they caught and both were carrying knives. Very unnerving situation and would never have thought I would be a victim. I had been so careful about not having visible jewellery when out of the hotel or off our ship, but forgot this morning. You have to be so vigilant at all times. Thanks for the post.

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