Are you a mugger’s dream target?

A fear of being mugged is common when travelling. So, it’s good to know how to avoid such an experience – and who better to teach that lesson than an ex-mugger?

Investigative reporter, Jeff Rossen, recently conducted an interview with David Solano – a career criminal who’s mugged over 100 people. Mr Solano is serving 25 years in prison and, to help change his ways, has decided to try a help people avoid being mugged.

Here are his tips, in a nutshell:

  • Don’t wear a watch that’s visible.
  • If you’re asked for the time or directions, don’t stop – tell them as you’re walking. When you stop and look down at your watch or phone, it (a) shows them you have a watch or phone and (b) makes you more vulnerable and an easier target.
  • Muggers are more likely to target people who are least likely to resist.
  • Make loud noises. Muggers will target men over women because women are more likely to scream and bring attention to the act.
  • Stand in a group of people, especially at train stations or subways. Try to stay near other passengers rather than off to the side alone.
  • When getting out of a car, look out the windows on all sides so you’re aware of what’s around you. This will make it more difficult for a mugger to sneak up on you.
  • Take extra care on Fridays as, according to Mr Solano this is the day that people are the most ‘cashed up’.
  • Unless you are a really good fighter (i.e: black belt in karate), don’t fight a mugger – it will only put you in more danger. Just give up your goods. You can replace your money, watch or phone but you can’t replace your life.

So, there you have it. Keep these points in mind the next time you find yourself in a strange neighbourhood and, chances are, you’ll be more likely to get through your holiday with your money in your pocket and your rings on your fingers.

Have you ever been mugged? How did you handle it? What advice would you share with our members?

Related articles:
Seven classic travel scams
World’s most dangerous countries
Seven tips for safer travel

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.


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