On the evening of April 14, 2015, a woman at a Wells Fargo ATM in Arlington, TX was first robbed and then abducted. The crime was caught on the ATM’s CCTV video. Fortunately for the victim, the perpetrator soon abandoned the car and the woman was unharmed. She was very, very lucky. Crime Scene #2 usually ends very badly.
While it is so very important to refrain from blaming the victim, see if you can identify actions the victim could have taken that could have prevented the perpetrator from succeeding in his crime.
First and foremost, the victim could have paid attention to her surroundings. This would have eliminated the perpetrator’s element of surprise and improved her opportunity to circumvent an attack. It’s important to realize that if your attention is occupied by a cell phone while you’re in a garage, parking lot, or parked at an ATM that an opportunity is created for attackers.
Remember, when you are using an ATM, DO NOT put the car in park, and certainly DO NOT turn the engine off! Instead, keep your foot on the brake. This way, if you see someone approaching, you can quickly step on the gas and escape.
Yes, it’s easy to watch a video and point out missed opportunities to that could have foiled the crime. What’s more important that you understand that 1) you must maintain a self-defense mentality at all times and 2) that thinking through scenarios like this BEFORE they happen help ensure that IF they happen, you already know what to do.