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Old September 18, 2005, 11:34 PM   #1
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Can the way you dress make you a target?

If you were a would-be criminal out to mug someone on the street, which one of these 3 persons would you choose as a target. Assume all are young to middle-aged males and all have the same medium build.

Person A= Is wearing a polo shirt neatly and tightly tucked in a pair of shorts. Wearing a belt with just a cell phone hanging on it. Also wearing some white socks and gym shoes.

Person B= Is wearing a long loose shirt hanging out over a pair of long pants. The person is wearing gym shoes.

Person C= Is wearing a full dress suit including jacket. Dress shoes. Briefcase or executive bag.

Looking at Person A, as a would-be attacker I would choose him because he gives little possibility that he may be carrying any type of weapon. Is not open carrying a weapon. Very hard to conceal any decent weapon under a shirt tucked in your pants without showing any print or buldge of the weapon showing. Wearing shorts gives no possibilty of wearing an ankle holster.
Person A is a person commonly seen on the streets, but potrays a perfect male victim.

Person B has many possibilities of carrying a weapon. A long shirt not tucked in can hide a gun, knife, mace, etc. Long pants can hide an ankle holster.
Another commonly type dressed person, but not a good choice for a criminal to attack, because of the possibilties of having a weapon.

Person C though looks like a defenseless businessman can be hiding anything under his suit jacket or have quick access to a weapon from his executive case that he's carrying.

So, unless you're wearing a business suit or wearing your shirt untucked and hiding what you may have hanging at your waist, can dressing neatly and properly with shirt all tucked in and not carrying any bags or anything put you more in the VICTIM class more than others. If you are a person who likes to dress neatly and wear close fitted clothing, would it be better to at least wear long, loose pants or wear some type of fanny pack or something to keep a would-be attacker second guessing if you might be carrying a weapon?
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Old September 19, 2005, 12:16 AM   #2
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I wouldn't take the chance of being counter attacked.

IF and I say IF I was a mugger..... I would go move to New York City.

I just have to make sure I don't mug a Congressmen or Government Official, put on some goggles for pepper spray attacks and I am set.

Btw I would chose C.
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Old September 19, 2005, 12:34 AM   #3
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Assuming I was going to mug someone, and assuming that these are the only choices, and assuming that I am choosing based on clothing, (all false), I would pick option C. Maximum returns for my effort.

To be honest, I don't think your clothing is going to matter much for any normal scenario.
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Old September 19, 2005, 12:38 AM   #4
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Criminals don't have these opportunities to select a perfect target. The location of the victim is much more important to a attacker. Will anybody see? Are there people around? Given a perfect opportunity a mugger will rob anybody no matter what they are wearing.
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Old September 19, 2005, 03:54 AM   #5
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Of course!

Never dress like a pimp or a whore.

Or a Nazi.
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Old September 19, 2005, 06:51 AM   #6
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More importantly, is attitude. (Also, worth noting, I carry IWB with a CTAC and a tucked in shirt when I do conceal. It can be done easily, and very well.) However, nobody mugs the man who is a man. If you walk with a purpose, show signs of alertness, and have an aura around you that commands respect, muggers will move on to easier prey.

Having worked in terrible parts of town, I have found that attitude is the key. I have seen guys who liked like giant apes cowed because they feared, and much smaller guys, and even a few women, stare down the same thugs. It is almost 100% attitude. If a mugger thinks they will be mugged, they will be looking elsewhere for work. Like NYC as previously mentioned.
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Old September 19, 2005, 07:54 AM   #7
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I agree, "C". Maximum return on investment. More importantly though is attitude and opportunity. A "C", if he is obviously aware of his surroundings, constantly scanning, notices you and makes eye contact is far less of an appealing target than another "C" who has his head down, is funbling with keys or cell phone, and is walking blindly down an alley or through a parking garage.

Very few people in running shorts with a tucked in shirt and sneakers have much worth taking aside from an i-pod. Those people are more likely targets for a general beat down than a robbery.

For reference I am a "C" who often has to travel to places like Chicago where having a gun is a No No. Attitude and Avoidance are the keys to safety in such a situation.
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Old September 19, 2005, 08:13 AM   #8
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If I were a mugger, I would not mug anyone in places like Texas, Alabama, Michigan, Florida..etc. No matter how they were dressed. But Chicago, D.C.,NYC is a different story. Any evil doer has a big advantage. BTW, muggings and car-jackings are almost non-existant in Detroit since we are allowed to carry in Michigan.

Reason I say that is some folks are worried that there will be muggings during the superbowl festivities this Feb and give Detroit a bad name . My response was that muggers there have gotten wise and prefer to pick pocket or break into your car while you are not in it or jump drunks coming out of the casinos.

Anyway, I'd mug B. Might find more cash than credit cards.
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Old September 19, 2005, 10:09 AM   #9
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There has been a great deal of research into victim selection. The main factor is perceived risk of the target based on attitude, gait, alertness and the like. The criminal tries to find someone who looks like there will be the least resistance and easy compliance.

They will avoid some old folks as compared to younger healthier victims on the basis of predicted risk based on the factors cited above. Well - known literature by the way.

I haven't seen any studies that look for clothing type as a predicted of weapons carry.

In fact, with modern small guns and knives - it is easy to always have something. I think most of the variance is attitudinal rather than dress.
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Old September 19, 2005, 10:24 AM   #10
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I can vouch for attitude and situational awareness. Every other week my co-workers and I meet for dinner. Being men, we walk the most direct route to our destination, which includes a short walk through a narrow walkway between buildings. I noticed that one old guy with experience in bad situations always goes to his front pocket when entering the alley. I have found myself doing the same unconscious move. We're checking to make sure we have a knife at hand(although at this stage in my life, having used a pocket knife since I was about 6, leaving home without a pocket knife would be like not wearing underwear. Ever had a gym teacher want to "borrow your knife"?). The other three guys, well, the first time they would know something was wrong would be when the guy in front or behind them gets knocked in the head.
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Old September 19, 2005, 11:51 AM   #11
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Old September 19, 2005, 11:57 AM   #12
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Most businessmen from what I deal with carry plastic, not worth it. Mug B he probably has cash.
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Old September 19, 2005, 12:06 PM   #13
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would it be better to at least wear long, loose pants or wear some type of fanny pack or something to keep a would-be attacker second guessing if you might be carrying a weapon?
i'd choose to attack the one who is sweating, nervously glancing back and forth, and looks like a dog thats expecting to get kicked. the other two were confidant and had a hard look on their faces as they scanned the area for potential threats.
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Old September 19, 2005, 12:10 PM   #14
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I was the "C"

Yup... coming out of the office late one night (about 11). I was wearing a coat and tie and carring my laptop. I was picked as the target so two dumb punks could be "jumped in".

Forutnatly for me i can run like the wind in dress shoes. The two little bastards had knives... all i had was a Dell.

Now im have a coat and tie, Laptop, pepperspray on the keys, and a SA XD Subcompact 9mm in an IWB holster.
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Old September 19, 2005, 12:23 PM   #15
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I was walking downtown San Diego late one night, in the area of the bus station. Suit, tie, briefcase, the works. A fellow came out of an alley and headed right for me, looking at me intently. I stopped, turned to half face him and smiled. He came to an abrupt halt, said "Ah, maaaan!" and went back into his hole.

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Old September 19, 2005, 12:27 PM   #16
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Glenn Meyer wrote:
"In fact, with modern small guns and knives - it is easy to always have something. I think most of the variance is attitudinal rather than dress."

Small guns and knives are not a "modern" invention. Small knives were carried, probably more prevantly than today, for thousands of years. Also, small "pocket" guns have been around for centuries and also carried with great frequency in eras before ours.

As for the discussion, I agree that attitude, location, and convenience are all key attributes when a criminal selects a crime victim.
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Old September 19, 2005, 12:28 PM   #17
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IMHO, the prospective victim's bearing - the way they carry themselves - is more of a deciding factor than clothing.

Take a SpecOps guy - SEAL, Green Beret, Force Recon, take your pick - put him in a tee shirt, shorts and athletic shoes, with no military uniform or insignia, nothing other than a military hair cut to give him away and put a gold Rolex on his wrist.

Then take a 75 year old man who has been seen by the attacker stuffing a handfull of cash in his pocket from cashing his social security check.

Which of these two will the mugger target? The 75 year old man, every time. Much less "reward" to be had (the cash is worth maybe 1/25th the value of the gold Rolex), but much less risk to be taken, too.

Criminal predators may be too lazy to work for an honest living, but they are not dumb when it comes to target selection - most of 'em that is.

Just my thoughts - BTW, maybe the 75 year old man is carrying a Glock and can... "make the world a better place" when the thug comes at him
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Old September 19, 2005, 01:50 PM   #18
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If I were a mugger, I would not mug anyone in places like Texas, Alabama, Michigan, Florida..etc.

Which is quite weird since Florida beach has the highest level of muggings in the country. It be quite a good target too which lots of tourists usually carrying around alot of cash, cameras, possibly cellphones, passports and so on. Prime target. Las Vegas is also another good one for the same reason and parts of New York, Washington D.C. and so on.
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Old September 19, 2005, 01:57 PM   #19
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Change it to black socks and sandals and A is the obvious pick
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Old September 19, 2005, 02:06 PM   #20
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I don't know that a mugger would pick a "man" if they didn't have to or if it wasn't in their favor. Two friends of mine were mugged back when they were teenagers, but now it seems the only people that get mugged that I know are female. Five female friends I know have all been mugged.

I guess it's where you choose to be at certain times (late night, bad locale), how you carry yourself (confident, drunk, or unaware), or possibly your age.

I still know of more females who are mugged than males. Even when they travel in pairs or groups. That's just my personal experience though, nothing scientific or anything.
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Old September 19, 2005, 02:19 PM   #21
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How about Levis (not really, just boot cut Wranglers) cowboy boots. Western hat and a white Tee shirt that says, "Never take a knife to a gunfight, Dude!" ?
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Old September 19, 2005, 02:32 PM   #22
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Person A= Is wearing a polo shirt neatly and tightly tucked in a pair of shorts. Wearing a belt with just a cell phone hanging on it. Also wearing some white socks and gym shoes.
This is how I usually dress if I am out and about in a casual manner. The exception would be topsiders instead of gym shoes.

Your expectations would prove to be very wrong about whether I was armed. You could expect a .38spl J frame, or a .45ACP 1911 concealed on my person, depending on whether I left home in a hurry or not. If you messed up and let me get to my vehicle, you would find a 12 gauge in my hands.

A hoodlum might not think I was armed, I get your point there, but I'm not going to dress any different because it might make people think twice.

The obvious pick is the person unaware of his surroundings, regardless of his clothing. Criminals don't select victims based on who may be armed and who may be unarmed. They select victims based on how quickly they believe they can overpower them. If you are aware, it does not matter if you are wearing a Speedo and flip flops. The garden variety criminal will let you pass by and wait for the unaware or distracted victim.
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Old September 19, 2005, 07:09 PM   #23
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If I was a would-be robber (not very likely at my age) I'd go to law school, run for public office, claim a fictional disability or see if I could get a government handout for not growing cotton. Or maybe all four. Not much money in muggings these days, but it seems government scams are progressivly profitable.

Of your three victims probably A would be the least risk and C would be the most potentially rewarding. Except in states where there is CCW and Kel Tec dealer.
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Old September 20, 2005, 01:04 AM   #24
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I think that attitiude, age, gender, race and clothing all make a contribution to victim selection. At age 60 I see people sizing me up at the ATM. On the subways in Italy there are people whose sole job is to pick targets for the pickpocket teams.
If you are walking down Embarcadero in San Francisco at the exact time that the crackhead has a withdrawal induced panic attack, you will become a target no matter who you are. There are many factors, but I think the perception that you are armed and determined is a big avoidance factor for the criminals.
Behavior is significant, ghetto people know exactly how much money is in their pocket at all times. They perceive a person who counts his/her money in public as a braggart. Don't flaunt it! You should always have a means of defense and a means of escape.
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Old September 20, 2005, 09:01 AM   #25
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way too complicated for me. I think how you 'carry' yourself, and how you demonstrate your awarness, is more important than what you are dressed in.
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