Walking through the streets of any major metropolis can always present a higher risk to safety than any small town. Unless that town is “Crystal Lake,” in which case I’d say that town is more dangerous. You know, cause of this guy!
It’s simply a numbers game, the higher number of people, the higher chance of accidents, violence, conflict, etc. That being said, in no particular order, here is my list of the top 5 ways people can end up getting robbed in New York City.
Walking around late at night
This should be a no brainer. We’ve all heard of and seen this in movies, and music. “The freaks come out at night” they say! We live in a 24 hour world, the invention of artificial light has changed the way day and night work. Mind you, this was the topic of conversation on my National Geographic television appearance, a lack of sleep in America, but I digress. Some of us have no choice but to work the graveyard shift, some of us like to party. More and more people are out all hours of the night. It should go without saying that you have to be extra cautious when walking around desolate or dark areas. One trick that we learned in the hood is to walk in the street as opposed to sidewalks in narrow, dimly lit areas. It gives you more visibility, and reaction time. Taking away the element of surprise helps. I applied this during hurricane sandy, and before the thieves could get the jump on me, I produced a blade, and got the jump on them. Nothing discourages a thief more than a sharp blade to the neck. So take away the element of surprise. Be aware, and if possible, don’t walk around alone at night.
Riding in the first of last train car
Another trick, that may not save your butt, yet could lower the chances of your becoming a victim is riding in the same car as the train conductor. The first and last train car have traditionally been the more dangerous in this city. For some reason it has always been the car used by hooligans and criminals when searching for prey. Avoid them at all costs. Obviously, it is safer during rush hour, than it is a 3am in the morning on Sunday night.
Some of you may not know what this word means. At it simplest, it means showing off. You have those huge chains around your neck, the bling bling on your wrist, etc. Well, guess what? You have just made yourself a target. A big, shiny target. I’m not saying don’t wear nice things, I’m just saying that the more extravagant you go, the higher your risk of being targeted. We’ve all heard of even famous rappers getting caught up for their gold chains. When I was growing up, everything was fair game. Air Jordan sneakers, Triple Fat Goose coat, Columbia jacket, your hat, anything. EVERYTHING. WAS. FAIR. GAME! I even had a gold cap yanked out of my mouth! To this day I don’t wear gold chains, fancy jewelry, etc. First I was never a fan of any of that stuff, not my style, but also I hated the giant bulls eye it would paint on you. Dress nice, wear your engagement rings, but use common sense, especially when going through, or into high risk areas.
Sleeping on the train
Now, this should be obvious, but it has to be mentioned. You just had a great night of partying with your homeboys and you are smashed. That liquor done got you tore up! You riding the train home, and you nod off. There is a good chance that when you come to, you will be missing your wallet, watch, shoes, and if you are really unlucky, you could wake up in a ice filled bathtub covered in blood and missing a few vital organs. I’m just saying, it could happen. I had an acquaintaince that was so drunk, he fell in between the train cars and lost his life. So is what I’m saying here really a stretch? Do your best to always stay conscious and keep your wits about you while riding the train. I can tie this to the prior point about the last car, and the hours of the day. Those are obviously factors.
Walking with your head buried in your phone
This is an easy, mostly harmless way to get robbed. I know quite a few people that have fallen victim to a phone or ipad snatching, even headphones. If it’s visible, you are unaware, it’s snatchable. I suppose this could fall into the stunting category, but cell phones and the sort are very common. Everyone has one, and I don’t necessarily consider it stunting. However, all the same, it makes you an easy target. As you are buried in the phone, you are unaware, the perp will have the element of surprise and possibly speed as they generally snatch it while already running. Your best bet is to be aware, keep your phone put away, producing it only when absolutely necessary.
The one thing that thieves look for is opportunity. If you deny them an opportunity, you greatly reduce the chances that you will end up getting robbed or victimized. Obviously, this doesn’t guarantee you won’t be targeted, but hey, why not put the odds in your favor? Makes sense doesn’t it? New York City is a wonderful place, and I don’t mean to frighten you, but these 5 simple points could save your life or help keep you united with your personal property!
All that being said, enjoy our wonderful city. If you have any points you’d like to contribute, please comment and I may include them in a future audience driven post with credit and a link to your social media, site, etc.
Growing Up Bronx