To avoid being a victim of crime, stop and think about what you are doing

In my mind, I was hoping that I would wake up and realize that 2021 with all its dysfunctional mess was just a dream.

I looked up to find Uncle Henry and Aunt Em at the bedside with The Tin Man, Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion and maybe Christie Brinkley in the background.

Instead, I woke up to the sound of my dog ​​snoring and my bladder was screaming at me to get up before it was too late to do so.

I stumbled into the kitchen, placed the pod in the Keurig, and pressed the start button. I walked to the back of the house and opened the porch door to make sure the world hadn’t exploded. I made a mental note to cut back on the Apocalypse movies, then returned to the kitchen after remembering that I had forgotten to put a cup under the Keurig.

A few minutes later, half a cup of coffee in hand, I watched the local morning news, delivering the same script as the night before and the day before. Nighttime shooting in southwest Atlanta, Covid test site lines, test kit shortages, the new mayor’s promise of 400 new city cops to replace the 600 who left. I made another note to get rid of local TV and never go to Southwest Atlanta at night or any other time.

With this information in mind, I made a commitment, as I do every morning, to be productive. First, find my glasses. While watching, I mentally thought of inventing a GPS chip for goggles and remote controls. Then my phone. Within minutes I had both in hand as I headed to the bedroom to put on my workout clothes for the morning walk.

I stopped to make the bed, then brushed my teeth, then took a shower. Then I brewed another cup and sat down, which jolted my memory, telling me that I’d done all of this before and it wasn’t the least bit productive.

Again, I changed and headed for the door, then came back to get my wallet and the right car keys. I walked along a rural road near my home and talked to myself. Don’t be surprised, we all do.

What I thought to myself is that as we get older, we start to lose our edge a bit. We no longer perceive things as easily as before. We tend to have a hard time applying common sense to everyday business. Small things, but things that we have gone through once, we have to analyze longer for the same result.

Unfortunately, we become targets for crime, a specific crime based on our vulnerabilities, described above.

The most common opportunity is through online sources. Phishing emails seem to be more common than before. Even though protection software prevents most from getting through, some still do.

I recently received one that claimed to be from Venmo. A charge of $400 was posted to my account. I answered the phone number on the email before realizing I didn’t have a Venmo account. My first instinct, prompted by the idea of ​​financial loss, was to take the bait even though I had received a similar email on a Pay Pal account a few months earlier.

Situational crime prevention

There is something called “Situational Crime Prevention”. For years I have written about this under the title “Risk vs. Opportunity”, the basic formula for all crimes. For you, whether you apply it to your online use or an in-store visit, using the formula, whatever you call it, will place you in a small circle of those who seem unwelcome as a victim. . Above all, stop and think about where you are going, what you are doing.

Do not offer opportunities. Do your race during the day if possible. At night, take security in numbers. If you stop to refuel, use the shops where there are others around and lock the car when refueling.

At home, lock yourself up. Do not allow lawyers to enter. Call 911 when you see suspicious activity. The list is long, but the fundamentals are the same. Think about how to make a crime harder to commit when you do what you do. At home, on the road, at home, on the computer, all of these can be your opportunity to commit a crime or your opportunity to deter it.

Stop and think about the situation ahead of time. You may never know you’ve deterred a crime that targets you, but consistency in those little things to deter it is vitally important. It’s one less thing to worry about, leaving time to find the remote.

About Marion Alexander

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