Friday, August 24, 2007
Don't Be a Victim: Mugging
Pickpockets today have come up with elaborate schemes to take your money, and vacation hot spots are their favorite place to pick their victims. Next, the tips you need to know, so you can be able to trick the trickster.
WSVN -- Whether you decide to relax in paradise, rendezvous in Paris or lose yourself in a big city, watch out because thieves are waiting for the opportunity to reach into your pockets.
Sergeant Javier Bruzos of Coral Gables Police: "A mugging or robbery can occur at any time of the day, at any location, in the whole entire city."
Even tourists here in sunny South Florida have been victims.
Michael McNulty: "Paperwork, credit cards, passports, cash."
This family from Ireland came to South Florida, so their daughter with Cerebral Palsy could swim with the dolphins. A ruthless thief robbed them of that chance. Sgt. Javier Bruzos of Coral Gables Police says the first rule of thumb is to be alert.
Sgt. Javier Bruzos: "Always, very important for us to be conscious of our environment. Don't let your guard down especially when your on vacation."
Next, look like you fit in.
Sgt. Javier Bruzos: "As your walking down the street make sure you are confident, and you look like you belong there, you know what your doing, you don't look lost, or you don't look like you are completely disoriented."
And there are some important tips to keeping your cash.
Sgt. Javier Bruzos: "If you need to carry cash on your person, that you have your wallet in your front pocket."
If you are carrying camera equipment or other items in a backpack or purse, keep it in front of you, so no one can grab it from behind. Officer Frank Jackson of Coral Gables Police says thieves use the same techniques all over the world.
Officer Frank Jackson: "They'll come up with an elaborate scheme to get your attention to try and catch you off guard."
Someone starts screaming when you go to check things out. The accomplice sneaks up behind you and takes your wallet. Another trick is what's called the compassion.
Officer Frank Jackson: "Children will come up and say that they are lost, 'Can you help me find my mommy and daddy?' You might squat down to their eye level, which will then expose your purse or your handbag."
Making it an easy target for a thief, but if you keep your purse in front, you are protected. You can have a worry-free vacation if you take precautions.
Officer Frank Jackson: "You want to write down emergency numbers for the place you are going to be visiting. You also want the phone number of the embassy and the consulate in the area that you are going."
Tom Haynes: "Getting this information is as easy as logging on to the the state department website, or calling the consulates of the country you are visiting."