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Bus rider followed home, robbed

The Capital Times — 5/14/2008 12:02 pm

A robber claiming to have a gun followed a Metro bus passenger to her home Tuesday night, and when she told him her money was inside the home, followed her into the residence.

Madison police reported the incident took place Tuesday about 10:46 p.m. in the 400 block of North Segoe Road.

The 24-year-old victim left a Metro bus and started to walk home, while the suspect who was on the same bus followed her.

"The perpetrator first contacted the victim outside her home and demanded money," said police spokesman Joel DeSpain. "She indicated any money she might have would be inside, and he followed her into the residence where several roommates also live."

The roommates told the suspect they had no money, so he fled with a bag containing the bus rider's phone and iPod.

Nowhere near my neighborhood, fortunately. However, this is one reason that I stay very alert when I am walking home, especially at night.

My keys to safety:

1. Pay attention, pay attention, pay attention. More over, *look* like you are paying attention.
2. Walk with confidence. In college, I used to joke that I liked to walk as though *I* was the one to be wary of. The less you look and act like a victim, the less you are likely to be targetted.

Does this mean nothing can ever happen? Hells no, but I'd rather work on reducing my risk than spend my time worrying about the big "what if" hiding in the dark.

Also, if anyone ever were to tell me they had a gun or a knife, whether I saw it or not, I would give them my stuff no problem. I can always get new stuff, but replacement me's are hard to come by. At the same time, I will take the risk and scream bloody murder, struggle, run, etc before I would allow someone to come into my home, or go somewhere with them. Sure, maybe screaming or struggling will get me hurt or killed, but my odds are probably much better out in public than in my home, someone else's car, or other isolating place.

Last word on the subject: I really think everyone should read The Gift of Fear by Gavin De Becker. Read it, and then get another copy and give it to someone you love. The title sounds scary, but the contents are amazing.

From the site:

* Recognize the survival signals that warn us about risk from strangers
* Rely on their intuition
* Separate real from imagined danger
* Predict Dangerous Behavior
* Evaluate whether someone will use violence
* Move beyond denial so that their intuition works for them

Not only is it a valuable resource, but it is also a well written and engaging read.

Stay safe, kiddos.

Date: 2008-05-15 07:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mateobard.livejournal.com
If you can at all help it, never walk alone at night. If you must, take a solid, quick route, stay alert, and do whatever you can to mitigate risk. Feel like you are being followed? Cross the street. Go someplace public.

Date: 2008-05-15 07:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kayjayoh.livejournal.com
If you can at all help it, never walk alone at night.

Except, there are many, many times when it can't be helped. And frankly, I refuse to limit where I go and what I do because I am by myself, on the off chance the the boogie man is going to get me.

I've been walking a lone at night since I was a teenager in Milwaukee. I walked alone at night when I was a student at the UW. I imagine I will continue to walk alone at night until I lose the ability to walk, or they stop making night.

Date: 2008-05-15 07:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mateobard.livejournal.com
All of which I respect. I'm just talking from a statistical point of view - you are significantly less likely to be attacked when accompanied by another person.

Date: 2008-05-15 07:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mateobard.livejournal.com
You never really struck me as the type who could not take care of themselves, nor would I even dare to imply such a thing. :P

That being said, it only takes once, you know?

I often worry about anyone (not just women, although again women are more likely to be attacked when alone than men)who takes to the streets on their own. Milwaukee is significantly more dangerous than Madison, I venture to guess, and if people have the right mind set, they are not likely to have to worry about having someone to walk with.

I guess I have trained a number of women in my time who had already survived attacks, and I suppose I believe very strongly in stacking the deck, given their experiencex.

Date: 2008-05-20 06:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] diablerist.livejournal.com
I make it a habit to be certain to try to make eye contact with everyone around me when I am in an unfamiliar place. It is a show of confidence and familiarity. And now that I think of it, like you said, being alert of your surroundings.

June 2008

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