Armed Mugging At ATM Caught On Camera

There are simply some places that are more common for mugging than others, and at Active Self Protection we want to be aware of what we can do to minimize our risks and protect ourselves! How would you have protected your kids if you were this woman?

News story and original video:

How do I protect myself from a mugging?

1. Recognize that ATMs are by their definition transitional spaces, which needs to lead us to be cautious in approaching and using them. A transitional space is any location that (1) allows attackers to prey on potential victims with an element of surprise and (2) provides ready escape for the attackers. A drive-up ATM is clearly a transitional space because it allows the attacker easy hiding and approach as well as quick escape through the parking lot.

2. The Rule of Stupids does come into play here, though only obliquely. The Rule of Stupids is fairly simple: (1) don’t go to Stupid places, (2) with Stupid people, (3) at Stupid times, and (4) do Stupid things. You can usually get away with one Rule of Stupid being broken, but two or more are a recipe for trouble. In this case, because of their frequency of trouble, an outdoor ATM is a Stupid place. Going to an ATM at night allows for easier ambush, and so it is a Stupid time. Two Rules of Stupid broken make for real danger. I use this grid to mitigate my risks regularly and encourage you to do the same.

3. Recognize that your vehicle is one of the most effective force multipliers and escape devices you have. Whether you’re at the ATM or the drive-through feed trough, keep your car in drive and be ready to use your accelerator to escape danger if you need to! A mugging can’t happen to people who are driving away, and bad guys almost universally can’t hit past 15 yards with a pistol. Get away and get to safety.

4. Situational awareness could have saved the day here. Knowing that there were two Rules of Stupid being broken here, if you absolutely HAD to get to the ATM for some reason, it would be wise to really be aware of your surroundings. Drive around the bank once or twice to get a feel for whether there are any lurkers or potential dangers, and be very aware of pulling into the space. Stay all over your mirrors the entire time, and be ready at a moment’s notice to hit the accelerator (even with your card in the machine!).

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

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