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View Full Version : Tells? what to watch for...


Swampy459
February 20, 2009, 03:55 PM
Ok,

In poker when someone is bluffing, they might have a little behavior that lets you know they are up to something. It might be fiddling with a ring, or wiping their forehead, or looking up and to the left. Those behaviors are called "Tells"

Some are obvious, some are not, and they vary from player to player.

What are some street criminals "tells" ??

Assuming you are in condition yellow, and something prompts you to go to red.. What might some of those behaviors be?

I guess I'm asking "what does a criminal do that might tip you off in advance that something evil might be on his mind?"

like "a guy goes into a stop and rob with both hands in the pockets of his hoodie with the hood over his head .... would move me from yellow to red and cause me to pay particular attention to him"

the hood over the head is a "tell" that something might be awry. What are some other behaviors that would "get your attention quickly"

Walking out of walmart there might be 10 people in the parking lot -- what behaviors would draw your attention?



thanks in advance for your responses,

Chad Minter
http://www.envenomated.com

#18indycolts
February 20, 2009, 04:09 PM
maybe those that go out of their way to make eye contact.

Japle
February 20, 2009, 08:03 PM
Anyone who's watching you, especially if they seem to be following you or changing their position in response to your movements.
Anyone who approaches you for any reason raises a red flag.
Anyone asking for the time or directions raises a red flag.
Anyone who isn't moving directly toward or away from the store (Walmart parking lot) raises a red flag..
Anyone who isn't moving raises a red flag.

Gunsmom
February 20, 2009, 10:00 PM
Anyone who appeared to be "nervous" or fidgety or unusually restless for no apparent reason would get my attention and make me wonder.

Teuthis
February 20, 2009, 10:10 PM
Watch, observe everyone. Your most likely candidates from everyone are those who do not seem pre-occupied with their sunconscious tasks of going from one place to another; but are looking around and "aware", i.e. fully conscious of their surroundings. I focus on those. Watch the head and eyes. The other, excellent suggestions fit right into this idea too.

Generally the only people you will see who are obviously "aware" in public are the police; and I see all too many of them in subconscious mode too.

jesus5150
February 20, 2009, 10:19 PM
I'm wearing a hoodie with the hood on and my hands in my pockets (Aside from typing) I'm cold all the time, and people ALWAYS avoid me. It bugs me sometimes and it's nice others.

doh_312
February 20, 2009, 10:45 PM
My head is always on a swivel and my eyes are always moving. Mostly red flags are just from a feeling I get. Thank goodness for that human instinct to recognize danger.

supergas452M
February 20, 2009, 11:07 PM
Your most likely candidates from everyone are those who do not seem pre-occupied with their sunconscious tasks of going from one place to another; but are looking around and "aware", i.e. fully conscious of their surroundings.

You could be describing me or any other GG/CCW that has good situational awareness.

danweasel
February 20, 2009, 11:13 PM
I run my hood up and my hands in my pockets all winter. Don't shoot!

Double Naught Spy
February 20, 2009, 11:51 PM
Funny how we associate normal behaviors (such as wearing a hoodie with the hood up) or being diligent in being situationally aware with potential criminal activities.

Hornett
February 21, 2009, 01:01 PM
I often wear a hood up or a hat in winter when it's cold.
But I always take them off upon entering a building.
It's a little thing Grandma called manners.
As in she (or my Mother) would slap me if I didn't do it growing up.

Now that I am all grown up I find out that not only is it good manners, it also makes people feel more comfortable because it shows I'm not hiding something. hmmmm...

Grandma was pretty smart. :D

chris in va
February 21, 2009, 01:07 PM
I saw a sign at a bank that basically said, "Please remove hats and sunglasses before entering".

I do that out of habit anyway.

Croz
February 21, 2009, 01:54 PM
Funny how we associate normal behaviors (such as wearing a hoodie with the hood up) or being diligent in being situationally aware with potential criminal activities.

Not surprising that diligence would be the same for SA and criminal activity. You would expect someone who is about to commit an illegal act to be diligent of his/her surroundings, so they're not walking into trouble (i.e. nearby LEO)

So the guy keeping his eyes open while walking could be about to mug you, or could be another CCW holder.

Brian Pfleuger
February 21, 2009, 02:18 PM
The Israelis have made a science of detecting criminal behavior before the crime happens. The are renowned world wide as the experts. Some much so that they train American security personal in "Threat Behavior Detection". It is a science based almost entirely on involuntary stress reactions. Dilated pupils, visible changes in heartbeat and blood pressure and others physical signs that cannot be controlled by the individual in question.

coondogger
February 28, 2009, 12:19 PM
If you think you are being followed, change your direction suddenly. For instance, if you're on a sidewalk, cross the street. If the person changes his direction as well, ie crosses the street, you can assume you're being followed.

This has nothing to do with any 'intuition'. It's common sense. And there are lots of other common sense ways to determine a person's intent.

vox rationis
February 28, 2009, 04:26 PM
Also watch out for the "interview" (http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/interview.htm) question, especially if it is delivered by a suspicious looking character: "Do you have change for a five" "Hey man do you have the time" "Do you have a lighter" "Can I use your cell phone" etc. These questions are designed to determine your suitability as a victim, and if you seem frightened and weak then you might get attacked. Answer with a very confident "No" and keep moving for a strategic advantage or toward a safer zone. If they follow and keep insisting, that is yet another obvious big warning sign that an attack might come, but it is surprising just how many people talk themselves into staying in a very dangerous situation despite both logic and instinct telling them that they are in danger, due to fear of seeming unfriendly, or due to not wanting to cause a problem, or out of embarrassment over being seen to over-react, etc.

Also, every parking lot is potentially a deadly hunting ground, so beware of parking lots. Stay safe out there.

Also on the above site is a description of the five stages of violent crime (http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/five_stages.html)

TraderJack
March 1, 2009, 12:10 AM
All good 'tells'.
For me, it's the hoodie/sunglassses with the hands in the pockets, the dawdler that 'looks' like he doesn't know where he's going, the guy walking around the 'stop and grab' with no apparent direction, and the guy walking up to me asking for gas money at the pump without any greeting to announce his presence.

First rule I learned is to gain distance during the assessment, and place an object between the 'dude' and me.

Pyzon
March 1, 2009, 11:18 AM
How about drooping off the butt baggy pants with boxers flapping, poor personal hygiene, loud and obnoxious music, lack of eye contact, and general lack of direction, I think my mom called it "Moping around". Oh and I almost forgot, a general lack of command of understandable English language.

Stevie-Ray
March 1, 2009, 09:24 PM
Well, that simply describes today's typical inner-city teenager.:D

justinicus
March 1, 2009, 11:44 PM
Inner-city? Look around the suburbs sometime.

I was once "cased" back when I worked in Southeast DC. Not sure if the whole story is appropriate here or if it would be considered off-topic (just a story of a naive tech-worker and his after-hours downtown close call). But in that case, being watched and approached were what bumped me up into Red, and being surrounded by four of his friends that cranked up the adrenaline. All that before the "interview" question as a previous poster said (asked for change to make a phone call -- funny how clearly I remember it all).

-Justin

Stevie-Ray
March 2, 2009, 01:28 PM
I live in the suburbs of a major city. These are most atypical in my area, and the ones that are like this are simply "wannabes." Why they choose to emulate this type of trash though, is beyond me.

I've found that the type is starting to disappear even from the bowels of the city. Seems someone has finally figured out that it is totally stupid rather than a desirable fashion statement and character trait.:rolleyes:

MagSxS
March 2, 2009, 05:18 PM
I often wear a hood up or a hat in winter when it's cold.
But I always take them off upon entering a building.
It's a little thing Grandma called manners.

Yeah, I do too.

But I've seen plenty of "cool kids" wear their hoodie inside, or even outside when its fairly warm/not windy... same with beanies. I mean, it's 75ยบ inside folks, you don't need it on.

mav88
March 2, 2009, 06:13 PM
watch out for people asking for change or money at night, in parking lot, going to your car, or apartment. Look and see where their eyes are looking, hands if in their pockets, what clothes are they wearing? (no need to wear all black clothes and blk hoodie in summer?) etc..


also if they keep INSISTING about money and begin to crown you "bubble" meaning space and coming forward.

at that time..i usually put my hand in my pocket on my revolver ready to draw..its happened to me before. Also..dont be afraid to look around and pretend to look behind you too.


Many people has gotten robbed in my area already for simply "people asking for change".
mostly women and older citizens. :(

XpatBubba
March 2, 2009, 06:40 PM
I am currently a gringo living in the third world. There are bad guys everywhere. It is more complicated here to know who is not a threat than who is. Basically, everyone will take your money, the trick is to not make yourself look like you have any.
Local tells here would be a person with no shoes moving toward you. People milling in the shadows, I hear them more often than see them. Two men riding on a motorcycle, think quick get away.
Drug behavior, twitchy erratic movements, scratching, eyes dialated and all over the place. A guy walking with a machete in the daytime is a gardner, night time he is either a ad guy or a watchman, depending if in a uniform or displaying any of the beforementioned behaviors
My rule here is if somebody is crowding my space I become mentally aware of 1, exit plan and 2, shooting cover.

anythingshiny
March 3, 2009, 03:25 PM
from many of the robbery vids that float out there...the fast ones are often head down, hands in pocket or hoodie and moving fast to get it started. SA would have to be tight to pick them up in time to react. the slow ones..the interviewers..the walk up and make a plan type are just as dangerous but easier to avoid and discourage i think.

dont think i posted it here..but back around christmas, my wife was 'interviewed' seriously at a local mall. did just about everything wrong but it def opened up communication lines for us as far as personal defense and SA.

vox rationis
March 3, 2009, 11:09 PM
O.O.D.A
Observe. Overreact. Destroy. Apologize.

:D that's a very funny spoof of the real OODA loop :D

Kleinzeit
March 4, 2009, 01:03 PM
a general lack of command of understandable English language

I don't get it. Do you mean, if the person is inebriated or otherwise drug affected?

Because being under-educated or coming from a non-English speaking background are not signs of criminality.

Thinking that they are might be, though.

chemgirlie
March 4, 2009, 02:31 PM
I know this isn't very specific, but anybody who, for whatever reason, just me the "heebie jeebies" gets a red flag. Sometimes it's because they are standing in front of the mall without any shopping bags not doing anything other than watching people. Sometimes it's because they look like a gang member (baggy pants, huge sports jersey, big chain necklace). Yeah, they could just like roomy pants and the cowboys, but better safe than sorry.

There really isn't one "thing" that makes a red flag go up, it's just a general feeling and impression. I think I do a lot of stereotyping. I don't think it's a bad thing either. I know you should never judge a book by its cover, but sometimes bad books do come with bad covers.

Shadi Khalil
March 4, 2009, 02:33 PM
One thing I learned is, If you are at a bar/club and grown men are looking at you and whispering in each others ears, one of two things will eventually happen; 1) You are about to get bought a drink and then propostioned to do something you might not wanna do... 2) At some point the guys who were looking at you and whispering like school girls will be kicking and stomping you like grown men. Number one has happend to me a few times but I have watched number two play out in clubs and bars through out the DC metro area.

fm2
March 4, 2009, 03:27 PM
Stranger talking to you/ trying to get your attention and looking past you and checking his 6, looking around behind him.

Kleinzeit
March 4, 2009, 07:21 PM
[Comment withdrawn. It was silly and not up to standard for this forum; my apologies.]

chadwimc
March 5, 2009, 05:38 AM
"...Because being under-educated or coming from a non-English speaking background are not signs of criminality.

Thinking that they are might be, though..."

Are you saying my thoughts are criminal?

Kleinzeit
March 5, 2009, 08:12 AM
"...Because being under-educated or coming from a non-English speaking background are not signs of criminality.

Thinking that they are might be, though..."

Are you saying my thoughts are criminal?

There's no such thing as criminal thoughts. But some attitudes suggest the possibility of criminal behavior.

When I see a person (or group of people: it's often a pack-mentality thing) who appears predisposed to act in a hostile way toward myself or another person on the basis of superficial differences, I go on alert.

I have experienced racial prejudice myself while travelling in other countries and I have seen that this prejudice will make others more likely to try to rob or assault or exploit me. If I see you behaving in a similarly prejudicial way toward someone in my community, then I will be on alert against you, too.

Prejudicial behavior includes:

1) Manifesting an overtly "vigilant" attitude in respect to the other person when what sets them apart is their skin color or accent or familiarity with English
2) Refusing to extend to them (on the same basis) the courtesies and civilities you are openly extending to others around you
3) Making it clear to them that they are being watched by you
4) Muttering and pointing at them
5) Making jokes at their expense
6) Doing nothing to hide your disdain
7) Doing anything else that makes the person feel uncomfortable to the point where they choose to leave

If I see someone behaving this way, I WILL be on alert.

Think of it as a kind of "Who's watching the watchmen?" thing. Just because you wear a gun and a white hat doesn't mean I have to trust you or respect your judgment.