Would you know you were being robbed?

Would you know you were being robbed?

This is a discussion on Would you know you were being robbed? within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; You are walking across a parking lot with a significant other or friend when a guy walks up wearing a leather jacket. This is not ...

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Thread: Would you know you were being robbed?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array mercop's Avatar
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    Would you know you were being robbed?

    You are walking across a parking lot with a significant other or friend when a guy walks up wearing a leather jacket. This is not that alarming since it is kind of chilly out. He has both of his hands in his pockets.

    At the same time the person you are walking with is on their cell phone. The guy walks up and says "let me hold your cell phone". Would you view this as a robbery?

    I often bring this scenario up in classes. Too often this is part of reality that does not transfer from the "labs" of the range and dojo to the street.

    In the places I worked this was a very common robbery tactic because it has a very high success rate. If you speak "street" you would recognize this as a robbery and most people just hand it over or "kick it out". For those that resist or don't get it are usually end up with gun in their face. It they still don't get it there is a good chance of physical violence or being shot.

    This tactic is popular because they do not have display a weapon or even say robbery. Even though most folks give up their property and fell that they have been robbed, sometimes they don't report it because they never saw a gun and the bad guy never "said" he was robbing them.

    Would you know you were being robbed?


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    I don't guess I would know I was being robbed, because I would tell him to get his own.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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    Member Array chaosrob's Avatar
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    hands free wins. I try to never have anything in my hands when I am walking in public place. If I do it is usually a shopping bag in my "weak" hand

  4. #4
    VIP Member Array goldshellback's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mercop View Post
    You are walking across a parking lot with a significant other or friend when a guy walks up wearing a leather jacket. This is not that alarming since it is kind of chilly out. He has both of his hands in his pockets.

    At the same time the person you are walking with is on their cell phone. The guy walks up and says "let me hold your cell phone". Would you view this as a robbery?


    Would you know you were being robbed?
    After reading the first half of your post I imagined my wife and myself in your sceaniro and I would have become alert upon seeing (I've been in similar situations.....just never robbed) the individual. My wife wouldn't stop talking much less give up her phone and I'd just tell him "No" or ignor his request while maintaining an orange alert level. If it escalates, well her phone ain't worth dying for but I'd be very aware of his posture and movements and at first sight of a gun the cell will be thrown and I'd be prepared to fight.


    Very thought provoking sceaniro......good post
    "Just getting a concealed carry permit means you haven't commited a crime yet. CCP holders commit crimes." Daniel Vice, senior attorney for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, quoted on Fox & Friends, 8 Jul, 2008

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  5. #5
    Senior Member Array mercop's Avatar
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    Don't get hung up on the phone, it could be money, leather jacket, shoes or your car. The point is that it is not very likely a guy wearing a black watch cap and a mask across his eyes is going to walk up and say "this is a robbery, give me your property"

  6. #6
    Member Array Dieselnut's Avatar
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    Can we expand a bit on the possible results? I'd like to quickly examine both scenarios:

    1. Victim hands over the cell phone. Either not understanding why the BG wants it, or realizing they're being robbed and doing it out of fear. In the majority of the cases, does the BG just take it and walk away? Or are there instances when the BG demands more and/or hurts the victim?

    2. Victim says "No, get your own" or something similar. BG assaults the victim or pulls a weapon. Victim most likely has his/her strong hand on the cell phone. So, what happens in this situation? The BG could hurt/kill the victim and take the cell phone right away. Or, the BG could threaten the victim with a gun, take the cell, and then either walk away or pull the trigger.

    It just seems like there are many possible paths that encounter could take. Let's take the case of an average Defensive Carry member being the "victim". They have their strong hand on the cell phone, so drawing a weapon right then and there is unlikely. What would you do?

    I'd most likely hand over the cell phone and hope the BG just walks away. However, he may insist on hurting me anyway and/or demanding my wallet, etc. Would any of you draw your gun after handing over the phone? Would you threaten him or shoot right away? Since he wasn't displaying a weapon, shooting might be considered excessive force in some states, I would think.

    Edit: Re-reading your post, I realize that I ignored the fact that it's the other person holding the cell phone. If I noticed the BG approaching, I'd already be on alert. When they requested the cell phone, I would try to quickly assess their intentions and their possible course of action. Of course that is fairly difficult to do correctly in a split second. I would most likely tell my friend to hand over the cell phone, but I'd be ready to draw. If the BG didn't take the phone and walk away, I would be prepared to defend myself and take things to the next level.
    Don't ever underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Array mercop's Avatar
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    It has been my experience that they will not stop at the cell phone or whatever the first item was. It is likely that if you are next to your vehicle they will demand that as well. As soon as they say "let me hold your cell phone" in my opinion it is the beginning of strong arm robbery (felony) in most places.

    Something like this has only happened to me one time. My wife and I long with my two kids at the time and my parents were getting ready to go on vacation and stopped to get something to eat at a pizza place at a local strip mall. My Dad had brought our SUV up to the curb and my mother and wife were putting the kids in their car seats. I was inside paying the bill and began walking out when I saw a black male approx 30 yrs old walking down the sidewalk towards them. I could see him looking at the women and seeing that although we were in MD the SUV had NJ tags. To me he looked like the wolf salivating over the flock. Then I saw he also had a screwdriver in his back right pocket tip up. Just as I walked out the door he asked my wife and mother if they had a dollar. I took my left hand and pulled my shirt up which displayed my holstered G19 and badge and said "this ain't that kind of a party". It was very subtle and he said "it's cool, it's cool" as his hands came up in the surrender position and he walked away backwards.

    Few things, as soon as he saw that badge I was acting under the color of law and as a police officer. However, now retired and acting as a legally armed citizen I would respond the same way...to the exact situation that is. It really was a non incident that would have developed into a robbery.

    My point is that to me because of my experience and expertise it was the start of a robbery not just another pan handler.

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Yes, I would recognize it as a robbery.

    This has been n play for decades/generations.
    Before cell phones it was "Let me try on your coat, #####!". Or "Nice shoes/boots. You wanna give them to me?!".
    At that there is little question as to 'What time it is'.

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  9. #9
    Senior Member Array mercop's Avatar
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    The one where you look at your watch only to get punched in the face?

    Or the "can I get a dollar" so they know what pocket you keep your money in wait to you put your hand in their and also get punched in the face. Those;)

  10. #10
    Member Array carver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mercop View Post
    You are walking across a parking lot with a significant other or friend when a guy walks up wearing a leather jacket. This is not that alarming since it is kind of chilly out. He has both of his hands in his pockets.

    At the same time the person you are walking with is on their cell phone. The guy walks up and says "let me hold your cell phone". Would you view this as a robbery?

    I often bring this scenario up in classes. Too often this is part of reality that does not transfer from the "labs" of the range and dojo to the street.

    In the places I worked this was a very common robbery tactic because it has a very high success rate. If you speak "street" you would recognize this as a robbery and most people just hand it over or "kick it out". For those that resist or don't get it are usually end up with gun in their face. It they still don't get it there is a good chance of physical violence or being shot.

    This tactic is popular because they do not have display a weapon or even say robbery. Even though most folks give up their property and fell that they have been robbed, sometimes they don't report it because they never saw a gun and the bad guy never "said" he was robbing them.

    Would you know you were being robbed?
    If I were walking in a parking lot, either alone, or with someone else, and saw someone approaching with his hands in his pockets, cold or not, my SA would go through the roof. I would personally make a turn between the parked cars, steering my associate on the phone with me. This would do two things. First it might make the BG aware that I was on to him, and second it would possibably place at least 1 vehicle between the BG and us. If the BG does walk up to you and ask to "hold your cell phone", then, IMHO, you have already become a victom.
    Y'all be safe now, ya hear!

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  11. #11
    Member Array snip's Avatar
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    Seeing as it was the other peson holding the cellphone if a stranger asker her a question i would step a bit inbetween them and answer for her.

    Assuming that i was on a cellphone and alone and was asked it is quite simple there if you are talking with the phone in your right hand and the BG escalate the situation by drawing a weapon it is quite easy to move to the outside of the BG using your left hand (assuming he drew right handed which will hold true for most cases) then just drop the phone and disarm him if you have had the proper training to do so. minor modification to the trained moves you practice are required if different hands are used but not an issue if you practice enough.


    *Note I am right handed so the phone was in my strong hand to begin with.

  12. #12
    Distinguished Member Array nutz4utwo's Avatar
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    I have heard the, "what time is it?" or "can i borrow a cigarette? " more times then I care to remember. I lived in Cincinnati for a few years and it was fairly normal.

    It is necessary to analyze the whole picture- location, time (night?), other people around, weapons, persons image and demeanor.... I would certainly recognize the OP's situation as someone I don't want to deal with fishing for something from me. I generally try to answer their questions quickly and politely.

    There is an interesting book- Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell. He basically argues that your brain can unconsciously see and interpret a scene in an extremely short period of time. It is not always necessary to rationalize the details. People on DC talk about spidey sense or hair standing up on your neck- these are reactions from your subconscious. Learn to read and trust them, they just might save your neck

    Amazon.com: Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking: Malcolm Gladwell: Books

  13. #13
    Senior Member Array PointnClick's Avatar
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    Couldn't help but chuckle when I read this... it reminded me of an incident I witnessed at a beer and bonfire sorta party on the beach... there was this drunken bikerish type that was being loud and obnoxious for quite some time. He was getting more and more unpopular as the nite went on... insulting and bullying people... the "hosts" asked him to leave, but he replied that he wasn't going anywhere, this was a public park, he had every right to be here, yada yada yada... he was a really big guy, so people didn't force the issue and just tried to ignore him.

    He was being a black-belt [Edited] for the last two hours, and he had consumed all his beer. So he wandered up to my friend Paul who had just pulled a fresh can of Budweiser out of the cooler and said, "gimme that beer..."

    Paul looked at him, said, "what the hell, I'm leaving anyway..." and from a distance of 6 or 8 feet, he threw that 12 oz Bud like a Major League pitcher right at his head, high and inside... clocked him right in the forehead and knocked him out cold.

    We were all stunned. Biker [Edited] dropped just like Goliath. Paul sez, "well, it looks like my work here is done... time to go..."

    Herein lies the importance of situational awareness and knowing all weapons that are at hand...

    LOL
    Last edited by Captain Crunch; November 21st, 2008 at 03:30 PM. Reason: Deleted inappropriate terminology
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  14. #14
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mercop View Post
    The guy walks up and says "let me hold your cell phone". Would you view this as a robbery?
    As with any unknown person approaching, my radar is "on" and I'm assuming the worst is possible. I wouldn't give anything to anyone based on that sort of ad-hoc question. I wouldn't view it as a robbery unless the very next move or statement was threatening. This is the sort of thing I've been approached with previously and is one of the things I try to be prepared for. Would I recognize it as a robbery? I'd certainly recognize it as of no benefit to me, as the initial starting point.
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  15. #15
    Member Array Ryan81986's Avatar
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    I've had people ask me if they could use my phone (No I didn't let them), but never "Let me hold your phone"

    Thats a new one.

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