Several months ago, Lori Fulbright from the local news spoke at the Junior League General Meeting about personal safety. She’s the lady who usually interviews local crime victims and has “compiled” their stories into lots of really good safety tips.
One of the things she said that stuck with me is that the place to really be on your guard is the grocery store parking lot in the afternoon. Since most people there are busy, distracted and in a hurry, they make easy targets for criminals. Sounds bogus, right?
Well, Griffin and I went to the grocery store today to grab a few necessities and arrived just in time to witness a purse-snatching. Here’s how it went down:
I pulled into my parking spot right next to an elderly lady who was packing bags in her car, getting ready to leave. I hopped out of my car and went to the back seat to get Griffin.
As I was backing out of the car with Griffin in my arms, I saw that I was blocking the way of a young man pushing the elderly lady’s cart toward the cart corral. I noticed that the cart still had a purse in it but my first thought was: “Oh, that nice Walmart employee is helping her load her car.”
Yes, I AM that naive. (It should be noted at this point that the lady and the young man were not of the same race. However, in AbbyLand racial utopia is a realized fact.) Anyway…
I excused myself and moved out of the young man’s way. As I was heading for the store entrance, I heard: “You come back here!” I turned around and, sure enough, the young man was sprinting across the parking lot with the lady’s purse tucked under his arm.
The victim hopped in her car and gunned it out of the parking lot after the crook, scaring Griffin half to death. (She didn’t catch him and came back a few minutes later.)
I called 911 on my cell phone [Sidebar: I wasn’t sure if this would work on a cell phone, but cool-o, it did!] and gave the police a description of the young man, the direction he was headed, my information, etc.
The police asked me if I could wait for an officer and give a statement. It took almost an hour but I did the “good citizen” bit and gave them what I think was a very good description of the “perp” — I was surprised how much I managed to see in that one glance. (Thanks to another Lori Fulbright tip about learning to really LOOK at people around you so you could describe them in an emergency.)
Anyway, chalk one up for Lori Fulbright. She has posted her safety tips online:
These include tips you have probably never heard of before, so I consider them recommended reading!