Monday, February 4, 2013

Stupid may not be a curable condition

Here's the latest alert from the University of Washington's Campus Police, covering a strong arm robbery in the University District.  As you read it, imagine how very stupid you would feel that you had shown the contents of your backpack (or your purse, or your briefcase) to a complete stranger...and what the consequences of that type of stupidity might be.

Notification of a Criminal Incident - Seattle Campus           

February 3, 2013        

Robbery-Strong Arm  

On Sunday, February 3, 2013 at approximately 8:40 p.m., Seattle Police were called to a reported strong-arm robbery in the 4200 block of 12th Ave N.E.  Earlier in the evening the victim, who is not affiliated with the University of Washington, had been at a restaurant/bar in the University District when he struck up a conversation with an unknown male subject. During the conversation, the victim showed the suspect contents of his backpack, which contained a large sum of cash. When the victim departed the establishment, he was confronted by three male suspects wearing dark color hooded sweatshirts who assaulted him.  The victim was knocked to the ground and his backpack containing the cash was stolen. The three suspects fled in two different directions. The victim was slightly injured and later transported himself to UWMC for treatment.

The three suspects are described as male adults without any additional identifiable descriptors.

Seattle and University of Washington Police were quickly in the area and searched for the suspects, but were unable to locate them. This case is being investigated by the Seattle Police Department under case number 13-39132.

Prevention tips for incidents such as this:

 * Be aware of your environment and alert for possible danger

 * Avoid confrontations

 * Remove yourself from potentially dangerous situations as soon as possible

 * Call 911 to report suspicious activity or persons to the police

If you notice that a crime is in progress, when it is safe to do so, call 911.  Some helpful information to pass on to the police:

 * Clothing descriptors - look for layers under the visible layer (usually the outer layer will come off once the suspect leaves the scene)

 * Physical characteristics - height, weight, eyes, hair, mannerisms, scars/tattoos

 * Direction of travel - (by foot, bicycle, automobile?)

 * Description of vehicle

 * Weapons involved

All of the tips from the campus police are good.   I would add:  keep your smartphone put away and do not stand at bus stops using your smartphone or wearing headphones.  You want to be alert to any potential threats and report them if possible.  Whenever possible, walk in well-lit open spaces with friends.

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