My ordeal this afternoon
There is a shopping center down the street from where i work. I like to go there to grab lunch at Quizno's sometimes, and that's exactly what i did today.
I parked about 100 yards from the store, in a space all by myself. Went in, got my food, and started walking back out to my car. As im getting close, I notice a white van driving around, and immediately become alert. As i almost reach the vehicle, it parks right next to my driver side door. Uh oh. Instead of going to my driver side, i cross and walk to my passenger door. I also used the ignition key to open the door, instead of my clicker. I did not want the doors on that side of the car to open.
As i was setting my sandwich on the seat, the passenger side window on the van opened, and the guy yelled for me to come over. I walked to the front of the car, but stayed on the passenger side. By this time, im at high alert. My hand is literally right next to my Glock ready to pull up the shirt if need be. I said hello, asked how i could help him, and the guy asks me if i want to buy some stereo equipment. :rolleyes:
I politely declined his "offer," received a dual middle finger and some sort of murmured curse from the driver, and then waited until he and his associate were out of sight before getting into my driver seat.
Normally, i would be thankful that it was just someone selling stolen stereos, and not actually someone trying to cause me harm, but i was pisssssed. :rant:
After i returned to work and calmed down, I thought about it. I don't see how i could have handled the situation better. The only thing i should have done was grab his plate number. Otherwise, i think everything went really well.
Aside from not 'hooking them up' with a phone call to your local police you did just fine. I'd probley been a little too keyed up to get a tag number too. I'm drinking coffee in the 'safety' of my home so I'm only armchair quarterbacking.
Originally Posted by djz87
Good job ID'ing the van before it 'parked' next to your vehicle. You kept your 'barrier' between yourself and the preceved threat.....although approaching your car after they parked next to yours might have been a bad idea if the vans occupants had 'other' intentions.
Overall I think you did just fine. Bravo Zulu.
Maybe, but then again, parked way out in the back 100 yards away from the store, if his car was the only close, and large obstacle to put between him and the van of "unknowns" then I think it was totally a tactically sound idea.
Originally Posted by goldshellback
From my vantage point, I think djz87 handled things very appropriately.
Bear in mind, there are often several valid options to handle any given situation or scenario. Many people are going to have a different way of handling any given situation, myself included, which may not be wrong. Some may be better than others and some may not. And there's almost always a point or two of learning or could have been done differently the next time kind of thing.
In this case, I think djz87 was very tactically sound in his handling of the situation.
Good situational awareness to spot potential trouble on the prowl.
Having a game plan and not losing his composure when the van pulled in next to his vehicle.
Moving to the passenger side of his vehicle to utilize its mass and bulk as an obstacle and potential cover from gunfire.
Using his key to unlock only the passenger door instead of unlocking the entire car with the remote. (A lot of people wouldn't even think of that)
Emptying his hands of superfluous items to be ready to fight. (putting his sandwich in the car instead of standing there holding it)
Not moving from behind the bulk and mass of his vehicle to verbally challenge the potential threat
And had his hand ready for an instantaneous draw should it have come to "Game On."
I think he was clearly in condition yellow as he went in and returned from the store and appropriately progressed to condition orange as soon as he spotted the van lurking in the lot and was probably in borderline condition red as he emptied his hands and was prepared to draw and shoot when he issued his verbal challenge to the potential targets ready to fight right then and there if an actual threat materialized.
I say borderline condition red because to me, IIRC condition red is when the fight is actually on and you are initiating the fight plan you formulated while in condition orange.
Now, I can assume djz87, (and he can correct me if I'm wrong), was probably in a very heightened state of alertness and was in full blown body alarm mode with adrenaline surging through his body as his heart was beating 110 bpm and may have been fighting off the effects of tunnel vision and other effect of his "fight or flight" response, and that when it was realized that the encounter wasn't an immediate threat to his life, he kind of immediately decompressed a little bit, so it is quite understandable that he didn't think to get the license number of the van in that circumstance.
I know, I'm making a few assumptions here but looks like a good response to me. :hand10:
Btw... how bad was your hand shaking when it was next to your Glock, if you perceived it at all, and were you consciously aware you were probably losing fine motor control and would have to rely on gross motor skills. I'm curious if that was registering in your mind at the time, or if you can recall it now?
I might have said, "Stereo equipment? Perhaps when my wife gets out, I'll go get her...:rolleyes:"
Then head back into the store and call 911 with a vehicle description and plate number...:confused::rolleyes::image035:
Congrats on staying alert with the local dirtbags working the parking lot.:congrats:
:yup: Great points as usual Bark'n.
Originally Posted by Bark'n
That anger that djz87 felt afterward probably was the adrenaline rush and dump.
Overall it was handled well, he walked away and had a safe enough encounter to help fine tune the SA.
I agree with others-good job. :congrats:
Yes, you should have got the tag no.
No, I probably wouldn't have thought about it until it was too late either.
You did great on all accounts. The stereo equipment deal may have been made up when you went to the other side of your vehicle. You'll never know what they were planning. Remember picture phones for getting tag numbers...works great.
Looks like you did the right thing...
On another note:
Selling stereo equipment or watches from a white unmarked van is common out my way. The "sales people", get this junk, usually Chinese knock-offs legally and drive around trying to sell it in supermarket or mall parking lots. They are intentionally vague about where they got the goods and often keep glancing around and acting as if they're in a big hurry. They want you to believe the stuff "fell" off the back of a truck so you think it's hot and you're getting a super good deal. If the cops show up, it's at most a warning for vending without a license or they just tell the guys to move on.
Good for you for being alert!
It would have been great if you'd gotten the tag # and description called in, but I understand the hindsight factor. The best-laid plans go out the window in an instant when something real actually happens--despite some of the macho boasting that can be prevalant on forums.
You did it right. Could have been better (getting the tag #), seeing as you realized the situation was beginning, but the outcome (ultimately your safety) is what's most important.
I think you did fine! All is well that ends well!:hand10:
Bad sales technicue
I am really shocked that the salesman made such an offensive hand gesture at the OP's decline to look at his merchandise. This saleman needs a refresher course in salesmanship!
A long time ago I was approached in a gas station parking lot by a salesman from the "Stereo in a trunk" chain of mobile retail stores.
This guy offered to show me the stereo in his trunk. Unfortuneatly I was strapped for cash at the time, and also not in need of a stereo system.
I had to decline his offer. Years later I was looking to purchase a stereo system and spent several days going to out of the way abandoned stores and gas station parking lots looking to find one of the "SIAT" salesmen.
I never did hook up with one so I had to get a stereo from a giant box store. :frown:
Originally Posted by Rotorblade
With the warmer temps, this scam is coming back out of hibernation. The local news just did a story on this setup last night.
Sweet Sounding Deal Hits a Sour Note
Not sure why anyone would interact with people in that situation, let alone go to an ATM and handle cash around them to buy something out of the back of a van. What part of that sounds like a good idea? Yet, people fall for it all the time. Best one i've heard: Someone's shown high end stereo equipment. The seller loads it into the buyers car and when they get home and open the box, it's full of bricks wrapped in bubble wrap. Waaaa-waaaa.
djz87 - What city did this happen in? I had the exact same thing happen to me at a gas station in Lafayette, Co. I was already in my car when they pulled up next to me and asked if I wanted to buy some extra stereo equipment they had left over from a installation job. I told them sorry I can't I am a poor broke college student. I wonder if it is the same guys...