• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.
  • Hey Guest. Check out the NeoGAF 2.2 Update Thread for details on our new Giphy integration and other new features.
  • The Politics forum has been nuked. Please do not bring political discussion to the rest of the site, or you will be removed. Thanks.

Social Community Are you Streetwise? Tell us your stories.

nush

Gold Member
Oct 16, 2017
10,156
26,117
845
A long haul flight from wherever you are.
I think that's I'm reasonably streetwise, I've managed to avoid trouble in public a few times by being aware of people around me and the environment I'm in. There's what should be fairly obvious stuff you should not be doing like keeping your phone/wallet in your back pocket for example. But even then there have been instances where people have tried to rob/pickpocket me.

I'm walking down this street at about 8pm at night, I hear a guy behind me whistling so I turn and take a quick look. Then I hear that he's whistling in "Code" to a guy walking parallel with him on the opposite side of the street. Yes, they are going to try and rob me. I see the part of the street I'm walking up too and it just has a fence down the side, so that's where they will be making a move I guessed.
So I walked into the street, not many cars passing and instead of crossing over to have guy#2 following me I stay walking in the middle of the street. Not only is it brighter lit but cars are passing. Once the guys see what's happening, they turn and just walk away. I remember reading about this tip in advice for women not feeling safe alone at night, it works.

Another one. I'm in a busy tourist area and to get across the other side of the road you need to go through and underpass. It's relatively busy still but there are a lot of pickpockets working the place. I see this Russian looking guy walking in the opposite direction and he starts drifting towards me. I'm expecting a "Bump and pocket/bag dip" maneuver from him. So I just make eye contact with him and hold it for a second or two. Sure enough he changes course and drifts away from me.
This is something I've done many times with no trouble, pickpockets don't want to be noticed at all and if they see you SEE them they will avoid you as they have lost the advantage of surprise. They are often easy to spot as in busy areas while everyone else is looking where they are going the pickpockets are busy looking AT everyone else for opportunities.

One more. Escalators, these are prime spots for thiefs. People are standing still often close together and if the thief bends down to "Tie his shoelace" the sides of the escaltor hide what he's doing. So keep turning around and check who is behind you or walk up escalators. One time in a busy area I was on an escalator and my girlfriend was behind me. I kept checking and sure enough I saw a hand start sliding up the handrail towards her shoulder bag. I just smacked that hand, he quickly shot his hand back and did the "Innocently just looking around act". Then as we got to the top I saw him immediately take the escalator back down to try again on someone else. A colleague of mine who used to use one of those annoying wheely briefcases lost an ipad from an escalator thief.



So GAF, any stories or advice you can share too?
 
S

Sidney Prescott

Unconfirmed Member
Absolutely not. I get panicky when I end up somewhere I'm not familiar. I have my usual route to work, and some places I'm familiar of over time, but I don't explore much. I am not a huge fan of walking at night.

I have a feeling I would freeze in a bad situation.
 

DESTROYA

Member
Jan 1, 2011
10,083
15,442
1,200
USA
I’m 6.3” and about 220Lbs no one tries to fuck with me.
Good luck if they do .
Sorry I don’t have any stories to tell.
 

MastAndo

Member
Oct 13, 2014
1,976
2,855
585
Been taking the NYC subways since I was a teenager (i.e. decades now), so you either pick up a few things, or you become a target. I got robbed at fake gunpoint (finger through the coat) when I was about 12-13 years old, and it was a situation I allowed to progress by being naive. A random kid a little older than plopped down across from me and struck up conversation on an empty train - although I thought it was weird that he seemed particularly interested in finding out about my fighting ability and if I was in a gang, I didn't make it out to be anything malicious at the time. Next thing I know, we walk off the train together, he corners me with the fake finger gun and asks me for my money. I had $3 on me, so I handed that over without hesitation. I asked that he not take my coat and I must have charmed him in some way, as he said OK and was on his way.

Fortunately, I grew into a decent sized man, which I'm assuming helped to make that the last incident for me despite taking some grimy ass NYC trains daily for 20+ years since then. I guess you just pick up things without realizing - keeping your bag in front of you, and waiting on the platform in places where you can't be snuck up on, for example. Don't look like a mark, don't flaunt anything, make yourself less of a target, etc. There are also openings to robberies ("you got the time?" or "you got a dollar?") that serve as distractions, so if you're in an area or situation that leaves you vulnerable and are approached in that way, you say no and keep it moving.
 

nush

Gold Member
Oct 16, 2017
10,156
26,117
845
A long haul flight from wherever you are.
There are also openings to robberies ("you got the time?" or "you got a dollar?") that serve as distractions, so if you're in an area or situation that leaves you vulnerable and are approached in that way, you say no and keep it moving.

This is a good one, they use this to drop your guard but often that's not enough to overcome how sketchy they look.