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University Place Police Department


Regular Member
May 25, 2009
University Place, Washington, USA
imported post

How Streetwise Are You?
Do you:
• Stuff your backpack or purse with cash, keys, pager, cell phones, credit cards, checkbooks – and then leave it wide open at school or work, near your desk, or on the floor?
• Pay attention to your surroundings or do you think about school or your friends when walking, driving, or riding the subway or bus?
• Think it's a waste of time to use your locker for valuables or to lock your car when you'll be back in a few minutes?
• Walk or jog by yourself early in the morning or late at night when the streets are quiet and deserted?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you need to change a few habits. Even if you answered "no" and made a perfect score, read on. Spend a few minutes now to prevent trouble later.

Keeping Street Sense in Mind
• Stay alert and tuned into your surroundings wherever you are – at school or the mall, on the street, waiting for a bus or subway, or driving.
• Send the message that you're calm, confident, and know where you're going.
• Don't accept rides or gifts from someone you don't know well and trust – that includes people you've met on the Internet.
• Trust your instincts. If something or someone makes you uneasy, avoid the person or situation and leave as soon as possible.
• Know the neighborhoods where you live, go to school, and work. Keep in mind locations of fire and police stations and public telephones. Remember which stores and restaurants stay open late.

Strolling-Day and Night
• Try to walk places with your friends rather than alone.
• Stick to well-lighted, well-traveled streets. Avoid shortcuts through wooded areas, parking lots, or alleys.
• Take the safest route to and from schools, stores, or your friends' houses. Know where to go for help if you need it.
• Don't display your cash or any other inviting targets like pagers, cell phones, hand-held electronic games, or expensive jewelry and clothing.
• Carry your backpack or purse close to your body and keep it closed. Just carrying a wallet? Put it inside your coat or front pants pocket, not in your back pocket or in your backpack.
• Have your car or house key in your hand before you reach the door.
• If you think someone is following you, switch directions or cross the street. If they're still there, move quickly toward an open store or restaurant or a lighted house. Don't be afraid to yell for help.
• Have to work late? Make sure there are others in the building and that someone – a supervisor or security guard – will wait with you for your ride or walk you to your car or bus or train stop.
• Be alert in the neighborhood. Call police or tell an adult about anything you see that seems suspicious.

• Keep your car in good running condition: Make sure there's enough gas to get where you're going and back.
• Turn the ignition off and take your car keys with you, even if you just have to run inside for one minute.
• Roll up the windows and lock car doors, even if you're coming right back. Check inside and out before getting in.
• Avoid parking in isolated areas. If you are uncomfortable, ask a security guard or store staff to watch you or escort you to your car.
• Drive to the nearest gas station, open business or other well-lighted, crowded area to get help if you think you are being followed. Don't head home.
• Don't pick up hitchhikers. Don't hitchhike.
• Use your cellular phone, if you have one, to call the police if you are being followed or you've seen an accident. Otherwise, stay off your cellular phone while you are driving.

Taking Buses and Subways
• Use well-lighted, busy stops. If you must get off at a little-used stop, try to arrange for a friend or an adult to meet you.
• Stay alert! Don't doze or daydream.
• Say, "leave me alone" loudly if someone hassles you. Don't be embarrassed.
• Watch who gets off your stop with you. If you feel uneasy, walk directly to a place where there are other people.

If Someone Tries to Rob You
• Give up your property – don't give up your life.
• Report the crime to the police. Try to describe the attacker accurately. Your actions can help prevent others from becoming victims.



They should have added at the top of the section in red, "If you value your life and your property, instead of handing it over, take action. If you feel at that moment that your life is threatened, remove your firearm from its holster and take aim (You do own and carry a firearm... Right?). Now you can report to 911 dispatchers that the person you have at gunpoint on the ground is ready to be picked up and hauled off, instead of trying to remember what the person looked like, and waiting endlessly for the person to be found. Oh and by the way, at the end of the encounter, you won't have to call your credit card companies, a locksmith to replace the locks on your house, your bank, cell phone company, wait for 2 hours at the DOL, buy a new iPod, buy a new cell phone because you didn't have insurance on it, and go purchase new keys for your car."



Regular Member
Jan 25, 2010
Lewis County, Washington, USA
imported post

I'lllist all the stupid crap that I do. :)

I haven't used a backpack in years since that's what makes me a primary target for being jumped in Washington State. In Arizona, a big backpack makes random people question me. In Washington, a small backpack like a camelpack causes idiots tothink "@#$%, lets get this guy!" I had my bag filled with pens, a lot of paper, maybe a book and a sock full of quarters. I would leave it closed but hanging on my chair. I don't like getting dirty floor all overthe ass of my pants.

I pay attention to my surroundings when there's more than 4 people in the room. Some people are capable of locking their attention on several people at once. Me, not so much. I don't belong in public places that are full of noise. I avoid them at all costs. In quiet places I'm lost in what I'm reading/writing and don't care about what goes on around me until I'm finished.

A locker is far too easy to compromise. I am to blame for proving that. However, I'll use them for the sake of law even if it's a bad one. My car is another story. I don't leave valuables in my car. Food isn't valuable. If anyone is desperate enough to get to rations in my car, I don't want them breaking my windows and another door handle to get it. Just take what you want and leave my damn car alone.

I used to run around all the time only in the early morning and late at night. It's too cold for anyone else to try anything except in the summer and early spring. That's the recipe for me being confronted anyway. I noticed this immediately took a nosedive when I stopped wearing orange and started driving. Eventually attention stopped being focused on me and people started eyeballing my car. This is a problem. One of these days I'm going to be jumped when going to my car. I realize this and that's why I sometimes carry a prohibited weapon. I don't have a problemexcept an extremelyrare period of time in which I go to and from my vehicle. I've already had one instance late last year where I ran someone out of my yard for dicking around with one of my trailers. He didn't do very much property damage but I got him with my knife pretty good when heconfronted me. I hope his hand broke in a catastrophic amount of pain when I smashed it with the horn. I'm sure he'll be back soon. I've already had an incident where about 1:00 in the morning, some kid got into my car and shuffled through my glovebox. The plonker didn't bother to shut the compartment door and itran my battery down a bit. I didn't go to my car for a whole 24 hours after this happened. That's where the real damage was done. I ignored it. Thing is, I was well awake when it happened. I was sitting here when I recognized the sound of my driver side door being opened. I thought they couldn't have taken anything other than old CPUs and bad PC memory in order to give me grief. I was wrong. In order to giveme grief,he didn't take anything. He just wasted my resources. I need a killall switch for my battery.

I remember which stores and restaurants stay open late because I'm usually the last customer in the dining room for the day. That's a problem. I need to stop doing that. Most of the places I patron have no cameras in the parking lot. That's inviting trouble whether I'm armed or not.

Now before I close, I'd like to bring you to a topic of interest that I really don't like to so much as think about. An issue of money. The OP has the right idea. Don't flash cash, cards, electronics, phones, games or anything that can be considered expensive in the presence of other people. The reason for this is that when you do so, you potentially trigger a bitch emotion in people called jealousy. Jealousy is extremely easy to find and even easier to amplify. The more self control people have, the less likely this is going to be a problem. You cannot assume all people have this insane level of self control! It's part of everyone. Every person and every mind. I don't know about you but in the world I live in, people complain that money is far more difficult to obtain than it used to be. Even though everyone has money, people want more of it. They want expensive gadgets. They want the overpriced and useless MP3 player. The want the worthless cell phone that they have no chance in hell of getting. They want games and jewelry and social status and want want want.

It's how people are. It's how people have always been. You must realize this or you will never genuinely identify an emotional problem. But enough of me rambling. Here's the problem I have with a particular business:

I carry cash. I will walk intoa shop late at night. It will either be packed or completely empty. In the case of this particular business it's always one or the other. Don't ask me why. 95% of the time it is always non-management helping me. When I ask for an item they handle the product first and then cash second.

This makes my blood boil for six heart attack inducing reasons:
I'm paying with cash. I'm trying to get rid of it quickly. Get it done! NOW!
If I'min an unorganized line,people next to me get a glimpse of my fat wallet's contents.
90% of the timeI am getting change back. Idon't like flashing money.
I am not prepared to juggle product and money, leaving me defenseless. One at a time!
Just with the above happening, it proves the person helping me is an idiot and attracts robbery.
All of this means I'm likely to be robbed in the store while I'm paying or while leaving. It should be common sense to employees to have a secure method. I know they want to be productive but in doing so they compromise safety and security. Money first, product last. That's how you put the customer first.

I have one electronic gadget that I use almost all the time. It's not very expensive and is often mistaken for a phone. I wear semi-expensive clothing that is designed to intimidate would-be criminal punks from getting near me. My body language is the only real defense I have. Everything else is simply there to counter physical aggression. I have to create this viciously powerful image at all times or I am inviting trouble.

Fuel is one thing. Stable fuel is another. My tank is full of problems and having enough fuel is the last of my problems. I always take my keys with me. I can't afford to compromise my own vehicle. Especially when it's a dying breed. I don't have a cell phone and I don't need one. I have an emergency phone that dials 911 but that isn't really calling the police now is it?

The last time I was ever jumped at a bus stop, I wasa high school student here in Washington and I was walking home from the stop. My attacker struck me from behind and continued hitting me in such a way where it was difficult to turn around. After a few seconds I managed to bust his jaw with a glass bottle of Starbucks. I haven't had trouble at bus stops since but I've been given trouble from the same attacker afterwards. To this day I have no idea what he wanted but I eventually got him convicted. I haven't heard from him since.

I have never had trouble when using the public bus system but that was in Arizona. I'm in Washington now and I'm still not familiar with public transport and nor do I care for it.

Here is my advice if someone tries torob you(unarmed):
They are instantly guilty of attempted robbery which is a felony in the State of Washington and the associated punishments can be quite harsh.More than likely they will be sentenced to prison for a one year term and their Second Amendment rights shall be revoked(along with a few others). You instantly have reasonable legal power during this situation to defend yourself against the attacker. However, that should be your last option. If you can run away without risk of property damage and personal injury, you're solid. Run and report. The police can take care of the rest after they've captured and you've identified.

If someone tries to rob you(armed):
To me this is beyond insulting. It basically says that your attacker is either so insecure doing this unarmed or so desperate to get what they want, they need a weapon to insurethesuccess of theirrobbery attempt. Call it crazy orstupid or whatever you want. It is nothing more than false security. They are instantly guilty of attempted armed robbery and I don't even know how to describe the punishments associated with that because it hurts just thinking about it. I can tell you it gives you a lot more options. First and foremost, I agree with the main post. Do not give up your life. For some people, their property IS their life. I understand that. You have something so great or so dangerous that it's in your best interest to not give it up. This forces you into one of two possible situations: Negotiation or forcefully disarming your attacker. You have to gauge the situationfor yourself. I think the ratio is the destructive force of your attacker's weapon and their determination vs. your ability to keep your life. Unfortunately, most criminals don't communicate with logic and they don't bring out their weapon unless they intend to use it. Depending on the amount of force they've decided to use, you may already be dead before you havethe chance to react. Keep this in mind.

I think about it every time I go out to eat. :(

Anyway I like the PDF. It's a good read. Thanks. :cool:

One more thing, my personal advice here is something that I follow because in my practice it gives me the least amount of trouble. I am a bad example. Remember that.

EDIT: Fixed for formatting, accuracyand my legal protection.


Regular Member
Oct 26, 2007
Tacoma, WA, ,
imported post

I lived in UP for the first 19 years of my life, and I can see why the PD would want to put these tips out. Many UP residents would have no idea what to do in any type of emergency situation. Its scary how non-street-smart some people are there. Having lived in the city since then, I can't go back there w/out getting bored (my 'rents still live there). They do have good schools, though. (I digress.)