I’m a Mugger—Here’s How to Outsmart Me
Straight from the mugger’s mouth, here’s what you need to know to protect yourself and stay safe in any situation.
Recognize your own vulnerability
It may seem surprising, but when muggers do target a victim, as opposed to choosing one randomly (as some of them, including Castro, have done), it’s more likely to be a male. While the average woman is less physically imposing than the average man, muggers are aware that women are more likely to make an attack more difficult by making noise—whether screaming, blowing into a whistle, or deploying an air horn or personal alarm. Don’t miss these scary signs that you’re an easy target to a thief.
Carry pepper spray
A can of pepper spray in your hand (not your purse, pocket, or backpack) is arguably the most effective tool you can use in the event that you become the target of a mugger. Solano, who actually found himself fleeing from targets who sprayed him with pepper spray, says that just seeing a can of pepper spray in the hand of a potential target can be an effective deterrent. If you have pepper spray, just a friendly reminder that it’s one of the things you aren’t allowed to take on a plane.
Don’t rely on surveillance cameras
Surveillance cameras are everywhere, but they don’t necessarily deter crime. Moreover, convicted muggers indicate they’re not swayed by the sight of a surveillance camera and will often proceed with a mugging despite the camera’s presence. That said, things are a little different when it comes to protecting your home, and these are the best home security systems, according to experts.
If you’re mugged, comply
If you do become the victim of a mugging, do not fight back. Muggers are often “desperate” to the point where they’d choose violence over backing down. In Castro’s case, he could just as easily have been convicted for murder as robbery—except when he fired his gun, he missed. Solano points out that while mugging is motivated by greed, not violence, he and many others will resort to violence when it becomes a choice between the mugger’s well-being and the victim’s. Next, find out the 12 everyday things that pose huge security risks.