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View Full Version : Troubling times in this town


chris in va
January 9, 2008, 01:49 AM
I live in a smallish town 75 miles from DC. The population has exploded the past few years (apparently) but it's still under 50k.

The two years I've been here, we've (the town) had several bad home invasions, 20+ arrests for cocaine trafficking, a few bank robberies, some murders and as of friday...two robberies at gunpoint. One in the WalMart parking lot, the other at a laundromat. Also some guy is waltzing into people's homes through unlocked doors WHILE THEY'RE HOME and stealing various things. Hasn't been caught yet.

So. I moved here in hopes of escaping bad stuff closer to DC, now it seems to have moved out this way. Long story short, what should I do if these two dudes walk up to me and wave their gun at me demanding my wallet? I'm really frustrated about this.

evan1293
January 9, 2008, 02:05 AM
Long story short, what should I do if these two dudes walk up to me and wave their gun at me demanding my wallet? I'm really frustrated about this.


I would say that being that you obviously are aware of the trouble brewing around town, ultimately your best bet would be to stay very alert. Not paranoid or afraid but just don't do whats typically done and 'zone out.' Keep an eye out especially when you are in higher risk situations (ie alone in a parking lot, at an ATM, etc.)

Make sure your house is secure. Some things to keep in mind: make sure all exterior doors have dead bolts and are kept locked. Keep all your windows locked and ladders locked in a garage or shed. Keep valuable items out of view from exterior openings. Also, keep a couple lights on both on the inside and outside of your home. Another little tip is that its not a good idea to keep your name on your mailbox. Skilled thieves can easily use your name to gain access to your phone number and call your house to see if your home. Just the house number is the way to go.

Avoidance is always the best tip but if you do find yourself at gunpoint, and your wallet demanded as in the situation you described, I think that you better give it up. At that point your way behind the curve and unless you are granted the opportunity to escape or take other kinds of action, generally you'll probably have to just do what they say.

chris in va
January 9, 2008, 02:25 AM
Looks like I've got all that covered, thankfully. Both times the thieves have bolted after getting what they wanted, but there's always a first time I guess.

I still have an image of a man lying dead on a sidewalk for everyone to see in the last 'burb I lived in, simply to get his paycheck he just cashed.

Thing is I wouldn't know all this stuff if I didn't read the paper on occasion. People hunt here but don't look too kindly at someone carrying, at least that's the feeling I get.

stevekolt
January 9, 2008, 05:14 AM
In an environment such as you described, as long as you are legally allowed to carry, who cares what the other people think!

Playboypenguin
January 9, 2008, 05:22 AM
Long story short, what should I do if these two dudes walk up to me and wave their gun at me demanding my wallet? I'm really frustrated about this.
In a situation like this, you would almost certainly be signing your own death warrant by pulling your gun on someone who is already standing in front of you with their gun drawn and pointed at you at close range.

I am sure some Rambo types will tell you to disarm them or to pull your weapon and count on them missing with their first shot while you roll left and unload into them but the reality is you would most likely end up getting shot.

In a situation like this, you should think to yourself "I can get another wallet, but my family cannot get another me."

The vast majority of such robberies do not end in anyone being harmed physically. Especially if you comply and do not escalate the situation.

Now if the sitiation changes from "give us your wallet" to "get in this car" or "come with us into this alley" you should fight with every option you have at your disposal.

Handyman
January 9, 2008, 07:38 AM
A few years ago there was an ex cop that used to give lectures about what to do if you were the victim or potential victim of a crime . He was on tv quite a bit for a while .
He recommended that if you are being robbed at gun point , you should throw your money in one direction and you run in the other . His reasons were :
1. run because giving up your money doesn't mean you won't get killed anyway .
2. The robber will be getting the money you threw and give you time to get away .
3. robbers are mostly very bad shots .

jfrey123
January 9, 2008, 10:07 AM
While talking with a friend of mine who is now USMC, he shared the following bid of information from his basic training. He was taught knife fighting as part of the normal program, but was told that if it gets down to hand to hand combat with an enemy and you're using your knife, then you REALLY screwed up. His training requires that he stop a threat before hand to hand is even an option.


I think the same sort of mentality here is prudent. Situational awareness is key, and if you let a robber get close enough to stop you and point his weapon at you, then you PROBABLY screwed up (nicer wording). Since it's somewhat rare for a face to face robbery to take place in a crowded public place in broad day light, I'd have to ask myself "What did I do that allowed these two men to stop me in a secluded place?"


If you're on foot, and not in an area where close proximity to people is normal (store, parking lot, downtown street, etc.) then you shouldn't let anyone get close to you. This might mean taking the long way around that one alley after you get off the bus when you see two men standing down there. It might mean crossing the street so you don't run into that guy up ahead on the side walk, and if he crosses with you then cross back. If he crosses back again, well you can be some what sure he's coming to "talk" to you. All of these might not add up to a friendly manner to live your life by, but if you live in an area that's dangerous and laden with crime, then these sorts of acts and a constantly defensive mindset can save your property and your life.

markj
January 9, 2008, 11:57 AM
what should I do if these two dudes walk up to me and wave their gun at me demanding my wallet?

Hand it over, better yet throw it one way run the other, as the other gent posted, I like that as it may just save ya.

Manedwolf
January 9, 2008, 12:03 PM
Unfortunately, compliance does not guarantee your safety. Where I grew up in Florida, there were many cases where the victim complied fully, and the perp, either looking for gang cred or doing it for the thrill of seeing their victim's fear, shot or stabbed them anyway.

Casimer
January 9, 2008, 12:33 PM
The types of crimes that you describe, and the fact that 20 people were arrested for cocaine related charges, suggest to me that your town could be a drug hub. By this I mean that an organized drug ring may have set-up shop and is conducting some aspect of their operation there.

Smaller towns and cities are popular targets for these groups, especially those in rural regions on the periphery of metropolitan areas. These municipalities often don't have the policing resources necessary to deal with the problem effectively. This has occurred to several towns in my region of Pennsylvania over the past few years.

chris in va
January 9, 2008, 01:26 PM
I may have to get a 'fake wallet' with just money in it. My real wallet has all my important documents that are very hard to replace.

CrazyIvan007
January 9, 2008, 03:39 PM
Looks like I've got all that covered, thankfully. Both times the thieves have bolted after getting what they wanted, but there's always a first time I guess.

Throw your wallet away from you. When they go to get it, shoot them while moving quickly away from them to cover.

But it really depends on the situation.

kayakersteve
January 9, 2008, 03:44 PM
I hope your kidding - You will likely end up in jail if not!

MikeinLA
January 9, 2008, 03:56 PM
Move! I couldn't live in an environment where I felt I had to always be "on guard".

Mike

CrazyIvan007
January 9, 2008, 04:24 PM
I hope your kidding - You will likely end up in jail if not!

Not in CO. You are legally able to defend yourself and your personal belongings from violent threat and theft.

oldmaster111
January 9, 2008, 04:31 PM
I've found that either the second wallet or a heavy money clip with a few dollars in it, tossed in one direction while you beat it in the other will most likely be your best bet. The bad guys want your money. The longer you are in front of them, the more baggage you become. If you can get to cover and have a concealed weapon, draw it and see if the mook comes after you, then punch his time clock if necessary, but protect yourself first.

parrothead2581
January 9, 2008, 05:07 PM
I may have to get a 'fake wallet' with just money in it. My real wallet has all my important documents that are very hard to replace.

That's certainly a valid point. Namely, he'll have you address. A money clip for the cash and a wallet for the docs may be the way to go. In fact, I saw a clip the other day I liked but didn't get it as my wife got me a new wallet as part of my Christmas. This would certainly be a good reason to go get it without having her think I dislike the wallet (which I love).

Mannlicher
January 9, 2008, 05:35 PM
Sounds like time to move, Chris.

Ohio Rusty
January 9, 2008, 05:59 PM
I carry a fake wallet just for this type of thing happening to me. I carry my real wallet in my right rear pocket. Most people carry their wallet in their left pocket which is where the fake one is. The wallet is an old, repaired and re-sewn trifold. In the three card pockets I have them loaded with different credit cards. I get those real looking credit cards all the time in the mail that sez 'Your Name Here'. The money part is loaded with fake money that looks real. I think they are 100,000 dollar bills that someone was passing out as an advertisement. I stuffed a handfull of them in the money part. They really look real and when all the credit cards and money is in the wallet, it looks like something a robber would really want. If I get confronted and the perp has the drop on me with a gun pointed at me, I'll talk real calm and pull that fake wallet. The perp will see it's loaded as I throw it to one side as I run away in a zig-zag pattern. When the police have the perp in custody, it will be easy to identify my fake wallet and the police and I will get a big laugh at what the bad guiy took from me. I'm personally going to rub it in his face .....
Carrying a fake wallet is an excellent decoy to dodge a bullet and live another day. JUst being smarter than the average bad guy ......
Ohio Rusty

Kentucky Deer Hunter
January 10, 2008, 11:52 AM
Ohio Rusty: I like your idea, I may have to use that one. One thing that I might suggest would be to put real money in there... Like maybe a 10, 5, and 6 or 7 1 dollar bills. You only lost 23 dollars and the perp is happy because it is possible he may check inside the wallet to see if there is any money. When he sees your fake 100,000 dollar bills, he might not be too happy.

This could set him off and he could turn and ask you where the real money is at or worst he could start shooting at you. I know that you have retreated by now, but why start a gun battle when you don't have to?

I don't think he would take the time to pull the credit cards out and check those. I think those would be fine.

Just my .02

ragwd
January 10, 2008, 01:03 PM
Wow lots of people carrying second wallets and fake money clips, great idea. I learn stuff here all the time.:cool:

Playboypenguin
January 10, 2008, 01:07 PM
Wow lots of people carrying second wallets and fake money clips, great idea
Way to much trouble for me. I cannot go hauling around a decoy wallet just on the very slim chance I might get mugged. My real wallet is expendable. I do not need to carry a fake. Credit cards can be cancelled and I seldom carry more than $50 on me. I also do not carry pics in my wallet that I do not have dupes of at home.

chris in va
January 10, 2008, 03:44 PM
Sounds like time to move, Chris.

Wish I could bro, wish I could. Ironically it's the same exact situation why I moved from N. VA. Except now the housing market is down the tubes and I couldn't sell this house to save my life. Literally.

Shadi Khalil
January 10, 2008, 03:56 PM
Chirs in Va,

I hear you loud and clear. My family originally lived in the fairfax / burke area of the NVA. They had been there since the 70's (back when it was trees, a couple of roads and the post office) Then they started building everyehere, they heard plans of a metro in springfield (which was the eventual downfall of that area), basically, everything bad that was north of us was heading that way. So about 15 years ago they packed it up and moved 20 miles south to manassas. Everything was good for a while,then the illegals statred pouring in. now the pop. is doubled, along with crime, public schools are in the crapper because half the kids arent up to speed with standereds (cause there parents dont speak english) and good people like my mom and dad are expected to suffer through all this and pick up the tab as well......Man sorry that was a rant..... these two guys, when they ask for the wallet, give it to them. We dont need anymore victims.

Btw,

I live in Arlington, ten min outside DC, we have some of the highest housing cost in the country but some of the slummiest areas. There is really nowhere to hide.

Perldog007
January 10, 2008, 10:03 PM
Chris, I lived in Alexandria at the edge of Town on Edsall Rd., Springfield, Catlett, and Manassas at various times. Everywhere is getting a little harder.

Take comfort in the fact that you have availed yourself of the means to defend yourself. Keep training. Note with profit that every time you practice using your situational awareness to avoid trouble that skill set gets stronger.

Only the best of us is honest enough to question what we would really do when the balloon goes up. I like Colonel Cooper's thoughts on this, to wit: "Withing a small margin of error, one will do what one has trained to do." or words to that effect.

gdvan01
January 10, 2008, 10:36 PM
Long story short, what should I do if these two dudes walk up to me and wave their gun at me demanding my wallet? I'm really frustrated about this.Kill 'em and do society a favor.

Hayley
January 11, 2008, 05:52 PM
"The vast majority of such robberies do not end in anyone being harmed physically. Especially if you comply and do not escalate the situation."

Still, you place your life in their hands while they decide whether or not to murder you. But hey, the odds are pretty good!

chris in va
January 15, 2008, 12:54 AM
Keep training.

I would, if we had a range. :barf:

sw_florida
January 17, 2008, 07:45 AM
The scum is pouring in and the gun ranges are closed down? And the Democrats? Clapping their hands?

Th0r
January 17, 2008, 07:13 PM
Most of the time with towns like thesewhere there is a sudden crime rush it goes down, for various reasons. For the time being, keep your head up and make yourself alert. Avoid all high risk situations unless with others [withdrawing money from ATMs etc]. Most of the time these folks are naive enough to expect one defenceless person. Instead of two people, very capable of defending themselves.
One technique is to go to an ATM with a friend/colleague, who needs to withdraw cash. Drive there in a car and park near the ATM. Simply watch your friends back and make sure he doesnt get into any trouble.

XD40Tac
January 17, 2008, 07:21 PM
Chris:

I live near the Bull Run Mtns and judge that you live in the land formerly known as God's Country aka the Great Valley of VA. It is a shame what is going on out there both to the landscape and the culture. I hate to say it but it is like Manassas - ruined by an overflow of illegal aliens in the last decade. The crime is atrocious and people wonder why immigration is an issue. Aside from the crime, the illegal's swarm over parks and ignore hunting and fishing regs.

I just won't go to Front Royal any more and Winchester is not too far behind.

chris in va
January 17, 2008, 11:22 PM
Isn't that the truth. A few weeks ago I went bowling in Manassas, and the older gentleman working the counter said, "Oh you live in God's Country".

And I thought, where exactly *is* this place you're referring to? Rampant drugs in the schools, the only mall in town is well known for shootings, stabbings and drugs, gangs are prevalent, numerous arrests for cocaine trafficking...MS13 hanging out on the Shenandoah.:eek:

The scum is pouring in and the gun ranges are closed down?

To my knowledge there were never any ranges to begin with. A couple private ones like Isaac Walton and another that you have to be sponsored through, but nothing like in NOVA where you simply walk in and punch paper. They're all hunters here, SD firearms are looked down upon.

SamHouston
January 18, 2008, 07:11 AM
Chris - I went to our local Bass Pro shop yesterday to get in a good hours worth of practice. (For 8$ you can't beat their price) There were about 8 LEO from one of the local cities there due to a little cold weather?

Is there an indoor range where your local LEO's practice? Is it open to the public?

Manedwolf
January 18, 2008, 09:08 AM
I hate practicing when the LEOs are present.

They're some of the worst with range safety. They get cocky and do very unsafe things. I've even seen a cease-fire called because of one, and they got kicked out.

XD40Tac
January 18, 2008, 02:42 PM
Probably the majority of them get less range time than the average poster on this forum. It is a big problem in some localities. Wussies in NJ are crying because the LEO's make too much noise at the range for police.:eek:

chris in va
January 22, 2008, 01:46 AM
Is there an indoor range where your local LEO's practice? Is it open to the public?
That's a very good question. I'll ask around and find out. They have to practice somewhere, right?

Then again, considering how backwards this place is, wouldn't suprise me if they "just shoot on Ned's farm".

Perldog007
January 22, 2008, 10:02 AM
Chris, out in Catlett we just used to find some space and blaze away. Only went to ranges when I lost touch with folks who had plinking space. Probably pretty much the same where you are (I am guessing west of the beltway from the way you describe it).


In Fauquier county folks go to Clarks to sight in sometimes, usually everybody knows a farmer or has their own land. I would ask around and tell folks that you are a target shooter and handgun hunter who needs a place to practice. You are right, some of those areas are pretty messed up for attitudes for SD once outside the home.

The big cities down 81 all have ranges but that might be too much of a drive. Public lands usually do not allow target shooting, but handgun hunting is legal and there is usually some species that can be taken year round with handguns.


Good luck finding a range.