Posted: February 23, 2014 in Updates
We’ll be closing our Twitter account at the end of the month unless there is a sudden surge in followers, which is unlikely. At the moment we are followed by only 13 people, so including a Twitter feed isn’t very productive.
We also only have 26 friends and 4 followers on Facebook, so unless that picks up we’ll consider shutting our Facebook account as well. Meanwhile Skype is even worse with only 6 contacts.
The truth is the vast majority of visitors to this website have no wish to make any further contact other than to view the website’s contents. The website itself is followed by 55 people, and that option together with the RSS feed should be sufficient for anyone else who wants to follow us in the future.
You can also contact us via email of course, and full details of the ways you can contact us can be found on our contacts page at http://wp.me/P1pT1V-eq. We will be introducing PGP encryption for those who want more secure communications.
Finally we do have a YouTube channel connected to our website which has over 200 subscribers, and this can be found at http://www.youtube.com/Balaclavaz.
Posted: February 19, 2014 in Street Robbery
Tags: driveway robbery
We’ve cribbed and adapted this from another blog, because we think it gives a good resume of the new craze of driveway robbery (especially in Dallas) and how to avoid becoming a victim.
In this type of crime (usually taking place at night in the dark), as residents are pulling into their driveway or into their garage, a suspect or suspects approach the residents’ car on foot. After the car is turned off, but before the resident can exit their vehicle, a suspect usually opens the car door, presents a weapon and demands property. The suspect relies on the element of surprise. The resident is caught in an extremely vulnerable position. For starters, their guard is down. Most people feel safe and secure in their home (or on their property); as well they should – a person’s home is their castle. Considering all the things that could happen to you while you are out, you know you’re safe once you get back home. Also, your car is turned off, making it very difficult to flee. There is no time to start the car, put it in gear and then drive away; the suspect is pointing a weapon at you. In addition, if you are in your driveway (or worse yet, your garage), your escape routes are extremely limited. You only have one direction – backwards. Finally, most likely your seatbelt is still on, further restricting your movement. Criminals know all of this, which is why they know it is a perfect time to strike. The criminal could start their stalking from virtually any place. They may spot you inside an establishment and follow you out. They may sit outside a mall store, shopping center, casino, restaurant and just wait for people to get into their cars. They have the luxury at that point of choosing their next victim as they come out of the establishment. The type of people they will look for are:
- people of small stature – because they are perceived by the suspect as weak, defenseless, less apt to put up a fight or easily overpowered if they do
- females – for the same reason
- the elderly – for the same reason
- people alone – for the same reason (although they probably would not pick a large, fit or muscular male, for the exact opposite perception)
- those with small children – because they are perceived by the suspect as wilfully compliant to protect the young
- those individuals who are unaware of their surroundings, not paying attention, oblivious to the rest of the world – because they are easily surprised
So, what can you do to protect yourself and prevent becoming a victim of driveway robbery? There is no way to prevent becoming a victim. However, there are a few things you can do to help minimize the chances:
- Enrol in a formal self-defense class – There are techniques taught to defend against this exact scenario. But more importantly, enrolling in a self-defense class will build discipline, knowledge, experience, awareness, self-control, technique, competence and most importantly – confidence.
- Pay attention to your surroundings – at all times when you are out in public. Look for people watching you, following you, near you. Keep your head on a swivel, especially looking behind you.
- If you believe someone is following you in your car, do not go home. Call 9-1-1 (9-9-9 in the UK) and drive to the nearest police, fire station or hospital.
- As you pull down your street or into your neighborhood, be extra vigilant for suspicious people, or cars you don’t recognize.
- As you approach your driveway, look again for vehicles behind you, parked in front of your house or across the street. Look for people sitting in parked cars with the lights out. Look at the sides of your house for someone standing in the shadows. Consider driving past your house, turning around and checking it from the other direction. This will also give you time to double-check if someone is following you.
- As you pull into your driveway or garage, look side to side and in the rear view mirror frequently for any sign of movement.
- Get into the habit of putting the car in park as quickly as possible, quickly turn it off; then release your seatbelt with one hand as you open the door with the other. Get out of the car and face the rear of the car as quickly as possible. That is where your attacker will be coming from if there is one.
- Expect the attack and be ready. Whether there is one or not, being ready for the possible attack is half the battle. The suspect wants the element of surprise. If they are unable to surprise you and/or they believe you’re ready for a fight – they will be less apt to follow thru; especially if they know you can identify them (n.b. the pros will be masked).
- Have a plan. You should ALWAYS be thinking of a ‘plan B’. In every situation, ask yourself, “What would I do if…….?”. In this case, “What would I do if a suspect came up to me as I was getting out of my car. With some self-defense training under your belt, a heightened state of alertness, quick action to get ready, the proper mind-set, and a plan…….. You’re not only prepared and much better off than you were; but there is a much less chance that you will become a victim.
Posted: February 14, 2014 in Updates
This is an update on developments over the past week, with a view to the future:
- We have added a couple more videos in addition to the Restaurant Robbery mentioned in an earlier post. Gas Station Robbery (Shortlink) http://wp.me/P1pT1V-GV. Jewellery Store Robbery (Shortlink) http://wp.me/P1pT1V-GY. We’ll be adding more of our favourite videos soon.
- We are closing down our existing Chat Room as it doesn’t appear to be used by anybody. We know people visit it, but like us, they are probably put off by the fact there is nobody else there! We visit several times a day, but it’s been months since we had a chat with anyone in there.
- We are introducing a new more secure contact email address, which is armedrobberyadvice@Safe-mail.net. Safe-mail uses an encrypted mail system so anyone who wants to contact us more securely should get an account at https://www.safe-mail.net/cgi-bin/Safe-mail.net/gate/N1-52fe7819-17e7edcc and email us. Safe-mail also has Secure Instant Messaging which will replace our existing Chat Room. Added security can be obtained by accessing your Safe-mail account via the Tor Browser, which can be downloaded from https://www.torproject.org/download/download.html.en. It protects you by bouncing your communications around a distributed network of relays run by volunteers all around the world. It also prevents somebody watching your internet connection from learning what sites you visit, it prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical location, and it lets you access sites which are blocked.
- We are reviewing our future use of Hotmail, Facebook, Twitter, Skype and YouTube. But for now these can all still be used to follow and/or contact us. If you want guaranteed confidentiality though, contact us through Safe-mail.