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This just happened to me this evening. I had come out of our local hardware store and entered my vehicle. The door was shut and I was about to buckle my seatbelt before starting it. From my left side I see a scruffy (possibly homeless) looking guy heading my way about thirty feet away. He approaches my vehicle and starts to speak. I immediately hit the door lock. I gathered that he wanted something but couldn't hear what he was saying through the rolled up window. He most likely wanted a ride somewhere. I verbally mouthed the phrase, "No thank you" and placed my right hand toward the window in a stop motion. He muttered a few more words and had a look on his face like, "I can't believe you are just going to pull away without helping." I backed out and left without opening my door or rolling down my window. My objective was to not give him an opportunity to be able to do anything.

This was a very rare occasion when I had accidentally left my Glock at home so all I was carrying was a 120 lumen flashlight and a Spyderco Endura knife. It was a bit of an uncomfortable situation but he never made any threatening gestures or words. It really seemed like he was looking for a handout or a ride from each of the parked cars. I typically feel uncomfortable when someone approaches my vehicle for any reason.

How would you have handled the situation? I thought about calling the Sheriff but he wasn't harassing anyone or being threatening so I let it go.
 

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What situation? Why would you have even considered calling the Sheriff? I would have drove home and watched the game.
 

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I guess you would be out of luck if he was trying to tell you that your wallet fell out of your pocket or you left your purchase on the roof of your car.
 

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I'd probably done that thing they use to call human interaction and ask him what he wanted, or at least listen to
what he was trying to say.

Ill bet from now on you will carry that G19 and at least 2 reloads.
 

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This just happened to me this evening. I had come out of our local hardware store and entered my vehicle. The door was shut and I was about to buckle my seatbelt before starting it. From my left side I see a scruffy (possibly homeless) looking guy heading my way about thirty feet away. He approaches my vehicle and starts to speak. I immediately hit the door lock. I gathered that he wanted something but couldn't hear what he was saying through the rolled up window. He most likely wanted a ride somewhere. I verbally mouthed the phrase, "No thank you" and placed my right hand toward the window in a stop motion. He muttered a few more words and had a look on his face like, "I can't believe you are just going to pull away without helping." I backed out and left without opening my door or rolling down my window. My objective was to not give him an opportunity to be able to do anything.

This was a very rare occasion when I had accidentally left my Glock at home so all I was carrying was a 120 lumen flashlight and a Spyderco Endura knife. It was a bit of an uncomfortable situation but he never made any threatening gestures or words. It really seemed like he was looking for a handout or a ride from each of the parked cars. I typically feel uncomfortable when someone approaches my vehicle for any reason.

How would you have handled the situation? I thought about calling the Sheriff but he wasn't harassing anyone or being threatening so I let it go.
I would probably have given him a ride.
 
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I would have cracked the window to here what he had to say. If he didn't do anything wrong I wouldn't have considered calling anyone. If he was begging I'd have said no and to back off. You say he looked scruffy what dose that mean? You also said this happened at a hardware store. I've been known to look a little ruff around the edges during some of those quick trips to the hardware store when the toilet overflowing or the kitchen sink is leaking . He could have been trying to tell you that there was a pile of nails under your car and not to run them over. Personally I think there is a fine line between situational awareness and paranoia and I try real hard not to cross that line. Not saying you did I wasn't there. Just stating an opinion and we all know what can be said about options
 

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This just happened to me this evening. I had come out of our local hardware store and entered my vehicle. The door was shut and I was about to buckle my seatbelt before starting it. From my left side I see a scruffy (possibly homeless) looking guy heading my way about thirty feet away. He approaches my vehicle and starts to speak. I immediately hit the door lock. I gathered that he wanted something but couldn't hear what he was saying through the rolled up window. He most likely wanted a ride somewhere. I verbally mouthed the phrase, "No thank you" and placed my right hand toward the window in a stop motion. He muttered a few more words and had a look on his face like, "I can't believe you are just going to pull away without helping." I backed out and left without opening my door or rolling down my window. My objective was to not give him an opportunity to be able to do anything.

This was a very rare occasion when I had accidentally left my Glock at home so all I was carrying was a 120 lumen flashlight and a Spyderco Endura knife. It was a bit of an uncomfortable situation but he never made any threatening gestures or words. It really seemed like he was looking for a handout or a ride from each of the parked cars. I typically feel uncomfortable when someone approaches my vehicle for any reason.

How would you have handled the situation? I thought about calling the Sheriff but he wasn't harassing anyone or being threatening so I let it go.
Glad you were safe, now to answer your question:

First, I would never leave my CC EDC at home, but you probably already know that now. It's important that you carry 24/7 and if your EDC does not facilitate that then either change it or somehow get used to it.

Second, always be polite, go condition orange then smile and wave. Your scenario happens to me frequently. Within the last month it happened at a gas station and at a Walgreens. Both times I was outside of the vehicle and a disheveled person came up and wanted something. At the gas station the person wanted free gas and at the Walgreens the person wanted a ride. Gas Station: Smiled and told man wanting free gas no and to please step away from vehicle. Walgreens: Smiled and told man wanting a ride no and to please step away from vehicle.

 
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In the 50s we'd have gotten out and listened to the guy, given him a ride. Even the 60s, and 70s. Picking up hitchhikers was normal as was sticking your thumb out. It's how I got to girls' schools back in college.

Now, you have an arguably heightened sense of concern, made worse by stepping into the SD culture. I wouldn't be too hard on the guy, because I know what that's like, I remember back in the day not being afraid of anything. Now I'm twice as capable and worry three times as much. It's a gift and a curse.
 

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That used to happen to my wife all the time. My problem with these situations is that crooks often use this tactic to get you to lower your guard. That is when they attack. I tried to confront people well away from the vehicle and put my phone to my ear. That alone will usually make them think that LE is coming.

I also had my eye out for those who appeared to be in real need. I always had to balance christian outreach vs safety.

Another reason I like rural living is that I don't get in that pickle much anymore.
 

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I'd probably done that thing they use to call human interaction and ask him what he wanted, or at least listen to
what he was trying to say.
I'm in and out of the truck stop down the road several times a week. This kind of thing happens all the time. Not saying something bad can't come from it, but most of the time some polite interaction is enough to get through. As has been mentioned, a person could be trying to alert you of something you may have left behind. Doesn't hurt to at least listen in most situations.
 
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My response to bums, panhandlers whatever they may be is just "NO."

I don't say it angry but forcefully and there is no wiggle room. NO gets the job done and if they keep pressing then I know something is amiss.
 
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What situation?
Hopefully he wasn't about to tell you your left rear tire was going flat.
The world is filled with people who are out of a job, down on their luck,
homeless, and in need of some kind of assistance. Judging people by their looks
is a sad result of our society being populated by the down and out. I'm not saying
you reacted in a wrong or right way. Paranoia seems to run deep these days.
Being in a major city I've been approached by street people more times than I
could count...mid day, middle of the night. Sometimes I help, sometimes I don't,
but I always respond kindly. And no one has ever threatened me. IF they did, however,
I would handle it accordingly.
 

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While I'm not an inordinately egotistical man, I have spent (unfortunately, more than) enough time in "tangled & dark" locales that a mumbling, homeless guy in a lighted area doesn't represent, to me, very much of a threat. And, if I had been completely unarmed, that locked door would have been MORE than enough of a barrier for me to feel fine about cracking my window & listening to his story. See, I still give money to the down-and-out, give rides to hitch hikers & pet stray dogs. Just 'cuz the world's gone screwy doesn't mean I'm gonna' go skittish. Reality says, that in 95% of these situations, I'm STILL the...most dangerous person there. And if bad judgment someday gets me KILLED by that rare 5% remaining percent, in the big-picture, I STILL DID more good than harm. :biggrin2:

VERY FEW PEOPLE get harassed to death.
 

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Guncentricity is a bad thing, imo. I got by for over fifty years without carrying one while still treating the down-and-outers decently. If I can't be kind to my fellow man, what's the point?
 

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Here's SOP on entry to a car:

Scan area first;
Enter car;
Lock;
Start;
Pull out (always back into spaces); and
Fasten seatbelt when cleared

Next time you won't be surprised
 

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I shake my head 'no', or wave them off. I never roll down the window or engage in conversation. Happened to me at Dunkin Donuts recently. You interrupt my donut and you become my enemy.
 
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My response to bums, panhandlers whatever they may be is just "NO."

I don't say it angry but forcefully and there is no wiggle room. NO gets the job done and if they keep pressing then I know something is amiss.
Pretty much the way I handle situations like that and it seems to work most of the time.
 

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Here's SOP on entry to a car:

Scan area first;
Enter car;
Lock;
Start;
Pull out (always back into spaces); and
Fasten seatbelt when cleared

Next time you won't be surprised
This is what I was thinking and probably the only advice I can offer. How you deal with a panhandler is up to you and opinions will vary. However, try to get to where you notice the guy before you're hopping into your car. People at the hardware store generally move with a purpose and don't waste a lot of time jacking around in the parking lot so someone who is doing this really sticks out when you're looking for it.

Many more options and more time to choose one that way.
 
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