Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Beware The Follow-Home Robbery (and how to protect yourself)

By Tim Gamble  11-1-2022

In yesterday's Quick Tip on personal security during the holiday season, I made brief mention of the Follow-Home Robbery, a crime trend that became obvious last year. It almost certainly will continue this year, so I think it needs special mention and explanation.

Most prevalent in big cities and urban areas, the Follow-Home Robbery can and does happen everywhere, including small towns and rural counties. These robbers can target anyone, but especially prey on those they see as vulnerable, such as the elderly and women who are by themselves. 

In this type of robbery, criminals (often gang members, but not always) are staking out high-end department stores, jewelry stores, electronics stores, expensive restaurants and clubs. They then identify and follow home their intended victims in order to rob them, often violently, at their house or apartment. 

The criminals' thought process is that customers of these establishments are very likely to be carrying cash, wearing expensive jewelry, and/or carrying electronics and other expensive gifts that have just bought. Not only are the victims robbed of these items, but in the cases of those driving popular high-end vehicles, the vehicles are often stolen, too. 

The Follow-Home Robbery is fast and violent. Victims are attacked after they arrive home but before they enter the house, typically when they are carrying packages (which makes it harder to get at your gun even if you do carry). Victims are usually taken by surprise. Who expects to get attacked in their driveway as soon as they get home in their nice neighborhood? After all, we tend to think of home as being safe, and the threats as being "out there." 

Last November, The Epoch Times (one of the last bastions of real journalism) reported on the Los Angeles Police Department's efforts to combat the rise of follow-home robberies (article). After reading that article last year, I talked  to a police officer friend of mine here in Western North Carolina. He confirmed that this type of robbery isn't just trending in LA and on the West Coast, but throughout the country.

Ways to help protect yourself from follow-home robberies:
  • Practice Situational Awareness
  • Shop in groups whenever possible
  • If possible, have someone in the house come outside to escort you in (and help carry those bags) - toot your horn or call from your cell phone to let them know you are home
  • Keep your vehicle doors locked when you get home until you check to make sure you weren't followed
  • If arriving home after dark, make sure your driveway and entrance area is well-light (requires some preplanning)
  • If you think you are being followed, call 911 or drive to the nearest police station, fire house, etc. for help.

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1 comment:

  1. Drive to your nearest MANNED police station. All too often police stations are NOT manned 24x7 by sworn officers. I know this to be the fact in my part of a very wealthy county. Make sure aren't followed to an unmanned police station. It may be better monitored but that won't make much difference to your heirs.


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