Incident that didn't develop - Approached in Walmart parking lot after dark

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Thread: Incident that didn't develop - Approached in Walmart parking lot after dark

  1. #16
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    What doesn't kill you makes you stronger ....... and wiser
    "There is a secret pride in every human heart that revolts at tyranny. You may order and drive an individual, but you cannot make him respect you." William Hazlitt (1778 - 1830)

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  3. #17
    Distinguished Member Array tcox4freedom's Avatar
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    I hope you guys don't mind me sharing this. But, I made a post about something almost identical to this; and what I do when I approach places like Walmart.

    Forgive me, it's a little long & wordy. But, I wanted to include as much detail as I could to help the OP in thread where I first posted it. It also sounds like a complex thing to do. But, honestly, a little more time (2-3min) for SA could save you life.

    I hope this may help some people learn to have a little better SA.

    Next time, you may want to be aware, there are numerous incidents of small criminal groups working Walmart & other "shopping" center lots. They are mostly looking to snatch something from your cart or purse. Some are looking to do a quick strong arm robbery. As you are bent over trying, they'll sneak up behind you with a weapon to steal your wallet. (It happens daily all around this country!)

    Here's a few things I recommend:
    First: Be aware you can be a victim ANY time of the day or night!
    Second: Whenever you go to "public" places your SA should increase as soon as you pull into the parking & not decrease until you are safely in your vehicle & driving away.

    Most people are to interested in finding a good parking spot as soon as they pull into a parking lot. But, you need to take time to look around for vehicles on the "outer" perimeter. A lot of times this is where the BGs will sit & observe. (They're hunting for potential victims.)

    Next: Look at the entrances/exits. (Is anyone just hanging around?)
    • Now: If you don't see anything that seems "nefarious" begin looking for a parking spot.

    The first thing you need to look for is the spot closest to the "exit" as possible. (Even if it means you need to drive around the lot two or three times, find a "close-up" is important!)

    Another thing to look for is a "pull through" spot; or a spot that you can easily back into. (This is not always possible because of the "traffic" lanes. But, if you can find a spot where it's safe to back your vehicle into & you can leave the pot without facing opposing traffic, I recommend doing so.)

    Once in the spot, take a little time to look around before getting out of your vehicle. (Be sure to look in ALL your mirrors, then check your blind spots.)

    When you get out look around again. (This will give you some idea where a potential attack could come from when you return to your car.)


    • When you're walking into the store look around some more.
    • Does anyone seem to be hanging around or watching you more than they should?
    • Do you see any vehicles around the perimeter or in front of the store that have people inside them but, don't seem to be "coming" or "going"? (If so, make a mental note & look for them on your way out)



    Now we move to shopping-
    If you're just going to be grabbing one "SMALL" item you really don't need a cart. However, if you plan on buying anymore I suggest getting a cart; AND keeping possession of that cart. (At the very least until you're close enogh back to you vehicle to realize there are no possible threats.)

    If you are using a cart, keep the cart with you. (A cart does make a good shield; and can also make a good battering ram weapon.)

    While you shop continue to look around for people who seem to be wondering around; but, not really shopping.

    At check out begin looking for people that just seem to hanging around; but don't seem to waiting on anyone or anything in particular.

    Now let's exit the store-
    Take your time approaching the exit. (If you've had your SA up since your arrival you should notice if anyone seems to be "shadowing" you.)

    As you reach the doorway, STOP to take the time to look all around again. (Remember; what you observed coming in?)

    • • Is anyone hanging around the exits?
    • • Any suspicious vehicles?



    Next;
    If possible do NOT walk straight towards your vehicle. Instead start up another isle. Then, if you think someone may be following you can stop like you're looking for your vehicle to see if the person will pass you up & continue on. You will also have the choice to change direction & cut through. (This ability can help you decide if you are indeed being followed.)


    If you do suspect you're being sized up for victimization AND you took the time to find a good spot (close to the "EXIT") to park, you should be able to turn around & make your way back inside the store.

    If you aren't being followed be sure to look through car windows & between cars as you walk to your vehicle. Please, don't forget to observe what is going on on the adjacent parking isles. ( Remember! A BG could run up from another isle. So, be sure to look toward the next isle over & the next isle behind!)

    IMPORTANT:
    If there is a large van & SUV parked next to your car, take extra time to look through the windows for any potential BGs hiding inside!



    Now let's load our groceries & go home-
    Once you've made it safely to you car, please do not let your SA down just yet. (This is where bad things usually happen.)


    As you approach you car- (Hopefully, you are backed into the space. But, if not don't sweat it just adapt to your situation.)

    Look into your car windshield for any movement.
    Keeping your cart ahead of you as you walk beside your vehicle, look through the "front" side window, the the "back" side window. (Keeping the cart in front of you will allow you to "block" any attempt of a BG getting to you should one be hiding in your car.)

    • Note: Whenever possible, load your items in your car from the "drivers" side.


    Once you see everything is all clear, unlock & "OPEN" your drivers door. (This helps place a barrier between you and a BG should one come around the front of your car.)

    • Next; with the cart still ahead of you walk toward the back of your car.


    NOTE:
    If you're going to place groceries in the backseat, walk just far enough to give you enough room to open the backdoor & load your groceries. If, you are using your trunk or rear compartment, keep your drivers door open, walk behind your vehicle with the cart in front of you so it doesn't "block" your path to the safety of your car. (This will also help you "block" another avenue of attack.)

    • Now, quickly load everything in your car. But, don't forget to look around every second or two.


    Once everything is loaded in your car, close your trunk, pull your cart behind you as you make your way back to the drivers door. Close the drivers & lock it if you have to walk very far to the cart return. Once back to your car, get in and IMMEDIATELY lock the doors! (Things can still go bad "IF" to much time is wasted before you crank up & drive away. So, DO NOT dally!)
    BTW OP;
    I think you did everything perfectly except not returning to the store for a few minutes once you felt you spidey senses kick in. If you hadn't have had a firearm & handled things like you did it could have been bad.


    -
    Last edited by tcox4freedom; March 30th, 2012 at 08:09 PM.

  4. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1956 View Post
    I am trying to think of ways you could have handled it better, and am coming up blank. An unarmed shift manager and cashier were going to provide no help whatsoever, and the police were minutes away. Any sign of retreat would likely have been viewed as vulnerability. Well-played.

    I wouldn't just turn around but instead say something like "oh crap we forgot the milk" to mask the real reason for our about face.


    To the OP, one suggestion to your GF, lose the ear buds in parking lots. She was probably picked out as the easier target since her back was turned and her senses were diminished.
    MadMac and MSgt_Rick like this.
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  5. #19
    VIP Member Array shockwave's Avatar
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    We ignore that little voice whispering in the back of our heads at our own peril.
    Those of us who have survived to middle age can attest that this is truth.

    Many haven't made it this far because they ignored that little voice. Trust your instincts.

    MadMac gives great advice above. I have little to add to it, except that you're a tough guy, ducatirider, you're armed, you have a good chance. But you took your GF into harm's way. Meditate on that. Had the guy rushed you and taken you out of the picture, she would have been at their mercy.

    If you didn't feel like calling the law, then at the very least let her stay safe in the store while you go retrieve the bike and pull around to pick her up. Bringing her close to the truck was a dangerous play.
    "It may seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first."

  6. #20
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    Good outcome. You won't ever know this, but it would be interesting to know if that truck spotted you and was following you before you got to WM; or whether they parked near the bike, then went inside checking out the rider(s). Also interesting is that he got inside his truck first, then got out again. Getting in his truck first sort of lets your guard down in thinking he was going to leave, and also gave him time to confer with his partners.

    He might have only been wanting to hit you up for some spare gas money, or it could have been a much worse plan.

    Regarding your crazyeyes, it's likely it had an affect on this guy. According to my kids, they told me years ago, I have laser-eyes. I'm not sure what that means, but it got their attention somehow.
    1911srule likes this.
    Turn the election's in 2014 to a "2A Revolution". It will serve as a 1994 refresher not to "infringe" on our Second Amendment. We know who they are now.........SEND 'EM HOME. Our success in this will be proportional to how hard we work to make it happen.

  7. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ppkheat View Post
    According to my kids, they told me years ago, I have laser-eyes. I'm not sure what that means, but it got their attention somehow.
    'I thought you were going to say the sun was in your eyes... that is to say, your eye.'
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  8. #22
    Senior Member Array darbo's Avatar
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    I'm no expert so I'll just say that I'm glad everything turned out ok.

  9. #23
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    tcox....good post.

    had i the ability to stay with typing long enough...your words encompus as i do--
    closer enough for g'ment inspection.

    park such that your trunk ( your going to need to put thing in...) is positiond to accept the purchases
    and walk an asile over and past a bit so you can return and see all sides, and the immediate area.

    when im leaving i check those next to/behind me. and if they are till they after awhile...
    tcox4freedom likes this.
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  10. #24
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    It pays to be attentive. I ran into a incident (or near incident) a few Christmases Seasons ago.
    I was going to Walmart for red yarn for a Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy I was making for my grand daughter.
    I was in the "less than 10 items" line. Given the amount of people, it was still pretty long. As I waited I notice two adult Hispanic males who seemed to be scanning the lines. They were not in line, but standing at the end watching.
    Their eyes seemed to lock on something. I saw what they were watching. A frail elderly woman with a basket over flowing and taking out a fist of money from her purse. She paid and received her change which she replaced in her purse. As she left the line to leave...the males began to follow her...giving her a slight lead.

    As luck would have it, I checked out and began to go out a little after them. It was like watching Animal Planet...the Wolf pack following a small frail deer and we know how THAT turns out. They started picking up the pace and where closing in. She was two cars over from me. The "wolfs" were behind my car, so I hit the car's "panic" button. The men looked shocked and ran the opposite direction. I turned it off. As I got to my car I waited until she was finished putting her packages in her car. Then I waved and said, "Merry Christmas". She smiled and waved back. Then she drove off, never knowing how close she came to attack. I always watch. It has paid off so far.
    A woman must not depend on protection by men. A woman must learn to protect herself.
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    A armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one has to back it up with his life.
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  11. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spirit51 View Post
    They started picking up the pace and where closing in. She was two cars over from me. The "wolfs" were behind my car, so I hit the car's "panic" button. The men looked shocked and ran the opposite direction. I turned it off. As I got to my car I waited until she was finished putting her packages in her car. Then I waved and said, "Merry Christmas". She smiled and waved back. Then she drove off, never knowing how close she came to attack. I always watch. It has paid off so far.
    I think the fact that they took off running in the opposite direction is pretty good evidence they were up to no good! Otherwise, they would have just continued walking to their car if that's what they were doing. Good Job!
    -Bark'n
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    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  12. #26
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    You had a good outcome---you and your girlfriend left the area and got home safe and sound.

    Your SA picked up on the developing potential "storm" and you demonstrated enough SA to the BG's that they aborted their evil plans.

    You and your girl friend learned a LOT from that and I doubt you will ever allow yourself to get that close to a negative outcome again.

    Finally, you educated all of us and remedied everyone about just how very important it is to always maintain your SA, no matter where you are or what you are doing.

    Thank you.

  13. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1956 View Post
    'I thought you were going to say the sun was in your eyes... that is to say, your eye.'
    Not only does he not cease to talk but he still spills the banks of English.


    (no argument, just friendly True Grit banter)(sorry for the short OT)
    Mike1956 likes this.
    Turn the election's in 2014 to a "2A Revolution". It will serve as a 1994 refresher not to "infringe" on our Second Amendment. We know who they are now.........SEND 'EM HOME. Our success in this will be proportional to how hard we work to make it happen.

  14. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcox4freedom View Post
    ...
    As you approach you car- (Hopefully, you are backed into the space. But, if not don't sweat it just adapt to your situation.)
    ...
    Keeping your cart ahead of you as you walk beside your vehicle...
    ...
    Once you see everything is all clear, unlock & "OPEN" your drivers door. (This helps place a barrier between you and a BG should one come around the front of your car.)
    ...
    If, you are using your trunk or rear compartment, keep your drivers door open, walk behind your vehicle with the cart in front of you...
    ...
    Generally, I like your approach but I think there are some issues with the parts I highlighted above.

    1. How does this work if you have cars parked on both sides and behind you? I've never been in a parking lot where you could push a cart between the cars and even if you can if there are car stops (the little curb thingy) that keep you from rolling the cart past your back tire you won't be able to get to your back door or trunk.

    2. Leaving the driver's door open isn't much of a barrier, is it? If there's not a car next to you (see Question 1), the door doesn't block anything. If there is a car next to you, someone can easily push it shut as they rush toward you. If you don't notice them coming up in the first place (granted, you said you need to look around while loading), they'll be on you quickly enough that pushing the door out of their way won't provide any warning to you. Having the door open actually works against you if you need to retreat that way from someone approaching from the rear of the vehicle. It limits your choices of retreat to only one; jumping into the car. If you're not fast enough to get in AND shut and lock the door before the attacker is on you, then you're essentially trapped in a box with no fast escape. A worse possibility is if an attacker approaches you from the rear and as you attempt to get into the car his accomplice slams the door shut ON you.

    I prefer to leave myself many options and think the less time you're standing around the better. I prefer to pull my car in nose first so I can easily access my trunk, quickly load my bags (after looking around) and leave myself multiple avenues of escape on foot if necessary. I also don't think it takes that long to back out of a space. Sure, if you want to back up, stop, then go forward it's slower but what prevents you from just driving backward until you can gain some distance and turn the car around?

    As I said before, I generally agree with your approach but there are just a couple snags that need to be thought about. If you've weighed these possibilities and conclude that this still works for you, great. Just the fact that you're actively paying attention to your environment and thinking about this sort of thing puts you miles ahead of almost everyone else in the parking lot.
    Last edited by gruntingfrog; April 1st, 2012 at 01:51 AM.
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  15. #29
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    Go today and make a report, you stoped him/them, the next person/persons might not be so lucky, be the best witness you can.

  16. #30
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    I agree file a report. My take is that it was probably an armed robbery. Their either new at this , or they had never encountered anyone with good SA before who was armed. Even if months had passed you might help an ongoing case if you can provide a description of vehicle and BG's.
    RIP Jeff Cooper

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