I was targeted... at the grocery store!

This is a discussion on I was targeted... at the grocery store! within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I've carried for a long time. I have always practiced what I thought to be good situational awareness. I'm embarrassed to post this, but some ...

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Thread: I was targeted... at the grocery store!

  1. #1
    Member Array WHYDAH's Avatar
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    I was targeted... at the grocery store!

    I've carried for a long time. I have always practiced what I thought to be good situational awareness. I'm embarrassed to post this, but some may glean something useful from it, so here goes.

    I stopped in to a local grocery store not long ago to pick up a few things while on the way home from somewhere (can't remember from where).

    I was standing in a aisle ogling the micro-brews when the affable fellow walks up and engages me in a short conversation regarding the subject of my attention, laughs, then walks off. I didn't think anything of it at the time.

    I purchase my few items and roll the basket out to the parking lot to my car and never noticed this same guy following behind me. I open the back of my Suburban, and while standing there with both hands full and with my left foot chocking the basket to hold it in place, this guy comes right up on me asking for money. I am standing there obviously caught flat-footed and wondering what to do while watching this guy to see where his hands were and basically trying to allow my brain to catch up with the situation.

    Luckily, he only wanted a handout. He gave me a sob story and asked me to help him out. By then I had relaxed somewhat and told him that I didn't carry cash.... only a debit card (lie). He said OK, and got into the passenger seat of a brand new Toyota parked right beside me being driven my some women, who backed out and drove away with both of them laughing. I'm left standing there feeling very foolish and berating myself for having been caught in that manner. I was armed, with a concealed G19 tucked neatly away in an IWB.

    The unnerving thing was that this guy had picked me out in the store. I have to assume that his banter with me was somehow his means of checking me out. The thing is, I don't look like a friendly guy.... really. And I'm not a 90 lb weakling, either. I was caught completely unawares! It could have turned out much worse. But, as it is, it serves as a learning experience.

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    Member Array Sontag's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reminder WHYDAH.

    The last time I put my hand on my CCW in a defensive situation was in the parking lot of our local grocery store.

    If you think about it, a grocery store parking lot is a great place for someone with ill will to catch a lot of people off guard.
    BugDude, msgt/ret and ArmyMan like this.

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    VIP Member Array ghost tracker's Avatar
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    Situational awareness in 360 degrees is our most difficult, yet critical, responsibility. Like an unfortunate ND/AD, it happens. Let it be a reminder to ALL of us. Thanks for the courage to tell us that you're not tactically perfect.
    tcox4freedom likes this.
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Momma always reminded us to look left, right and left again before attempting to cross a street. I find this same basic technique to be fairly useful when entering, exiting, and occasionally while walking along in a straight line (ie down a sidewalk) for any length of time. As well, generally I come toward my parked car a few cars away, then angle into it which allows me to take a glance around me as I'm turning toward the car. I've lost count of how many times I've visually picked up someone trailing me who then decided to quickly change directions a moment after I saw him/her. Simple steps, easy to do.

    Glad it wasn't anything worse than someone playing games (apparently).
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
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    Ex Member Array oldrwizr's Avatar
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    You were panhandled. It happens every time you go downtown in Durham NC. Take a deep breath, it's over now.

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    Member Array WHYDAH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldrwizr View Post
    You were panhandled. It happens every time you go downtown in Durham NC. Take a deep breath, it's over now.
    That wasn't the point. I've been panhandled plenty. As careful as I usually am, I never saw this one coming. It could have been something more serious.

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    Member Array Bigpoppa48's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldrwizr View Post
    You were panhandled. It happens every time you go downtown in Durham NC. Take a deep breath, it's over now.
    If you think Durham is bad try Charlotte. A friend of mine is a police detective on the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Dept. and he was home this past weekend and we caught up on old times. He was approached by a guy he had arrested in the past and thought the situation was going to turn more serious than what it did because he had messed around and left his off duty weapon at home, I told him never to do that again cause he is a good guy and it is some very crazy and derainged pplz out here, just look at Colorado but they are everywhere.

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    I had a similar thing happen to me yesterday but at a Gas Station. A woman in the next car said her mother had just passed and she lived across the street in the apartment complex and needed some gas money. I told her that I could call the Roswell Police departments Citizen Help line and get someone down here to help her. She got into the car and drove off. I always do a 360 degree scan when leaving any store and when exiting my vehicle. I spotted her and had questions about why she was there as she was not doing anything except looking here and there.
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    VIP Member Array Harryball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHYDAH View Post
    That wasn't the point. I've been panhandled plenty. As careful as I usually am, I never saw this one coming. It could have been something more serious.
    You are human, you can not be on alert 100% of the time. You can come close, but every once in a while you let your guard down. Its not the end of the world, move forward learning from this lesson.....
    tcox4freedom likes this.
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    VIP Member Array Yoda's Avatar
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    You were conveniently parked next to his ride. I think it was coincidence or you have the same taste in beer.
    Yoda, I am, yes.

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    Member Array WHYDAH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yoda View Post
    You were conveniently parked next to his ride. I think it was coincidence or you have the same taste in beer.
    I don't know about that. I'm more of a Heavy Seas "Loose Cannon" guy while he looked to be more of the Country Club Malt Liquor type!

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    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    Since they were parked beside you I'm thinking they saw you pull in and the guy followed you in the store. Did you notice that vehicle parked there when you arrived? Maybe the only reason you were targeted is because you pulled in beside them. Follow you in, make small talk, then follow back out.

    Anyway, thanks for posting. It is nice to hear someone admit they didn't keep their tactical ninja skills in full effect all the time. Not that it is nice that it happens, just that we admit when we did it so others can learn.
    JDE101 likes this.
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    Distinguished Member Array Bill MO's Avatar
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    His car parked beside yours with a driver already in the drivers seat ready to go. Makes contact in the store then makes a play as you leave at the cars. My guess you did something right that shut the hit off. He did not feel good about something you did to make his play. He picked you in the parking lot as you parked. Maybe because he could park beside your car or because he liked your looks. Who knows why but I think you were his pick for a target to attack on your way out. He could then jump in the get away car and be gone.
    tcox4freedom and JDE101 like this.
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    I have to really concentrate on keeping situational awareness. I do a lot of metal detecting at county parks & some are frequented by not so nice people. Several years ago I had my earphones on & concentrating on sounds my detector was making. I looked up & notice 2 thug-types walking my way across the grass. I was alone & as my state didn't have a CCW law at that time, unarmed. I must have given them "the look" or something because they veered off all of a sudden. I have several holsters on a belt with digging tools in them & have to wonder if they thought it was a firearm. Needless to say I go armed all the time now & always try to have an equally armed partner with me. I should have known better but in an activity that demands full concentration most of the time it's easy enough to have your mind off of security & awareness.
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    Distinguished Member Array 21bubba's Avatar
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    Thank goodness. After you're here for awhile this kind of thing stops happening.

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