Easy targets: Making yourself a potential victim

By Andy Jenks - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Your "every day" way of life, could make you a victim of crime, without you ever knowing it. And now police want to make sure you're not making yourself an easy target.

These things happen anywhere. It could be downtown. It could be at the park. So we took our camera out for drive, to see just how many examples are out there.

It's 10:30 on a recent Wednesday morning, downtown. A man sits at the bus stop, his bag between his feet. Nearby, another man listens to music on his headphones. But police say neither of them is as big a target...as the woman doing "both".

"Cause if you can't hear what's going around you, you can't hear anybody coming up behind you," said Sgt. Michael Stith, Richmond Police – Community Care Unit.

The woman is Penny Fuller of Richmond. Police say she is doing one thing right: by keeping her bag over her shoulder, instead of across her body...she's less likely to be injured by a thief. She needs more convincing, though, on protecting her bag.

"It doesn't matter where your bag be, if they want it, they gonna get it," said Penny.

An hour later, we're in Carytown at a popular ATM. Watch as a young man, makes what police say is a classic mistake. In plain sight, he puts his wallet in his back pocket. This time it was just our camera, but who knows what kind of thief will be watching, the next time?

"The first thing you need to do is have your ATM card in your hand and ready prepared to walk up to the machine. Nobody can see extra money in your wallet, and you don't make yourself an easy target," said Stith.

Student Aaron Ledbetter later said he wasn't worried about this so-called risky behavior.

"It's not like an everyday concern for me. I don't live in fear of getting robbed," said Aaron.

Finally we go from the city, the suburbs. One pm, at Huguenot Park, in Chesterfield where parents are sharing the joys of childhood. It's easy for moms and dads to be so busy talking, that they lose sight of their kids...even if it's just a fleeting moment. So parents like Dawn Mooney set up "boundaries."

"He knows, that if he can't see me, then he is out of bounds," said Dawn.

Other moms dress their kids in unique clothing so they can do a quick scan, and locate their children. Police say that's just the first part of crime prevention.

"Just look around you. Check out the environment. See who's walking around," said Stith.

The next time you're in one of these everyday situations - knowing what makes you an easy target can prevent you from becoming an easy victim. You can read more about these everyday crime situations by clicking here. 

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