Ladies! Have you ever been in a public place…say a coffee shop or grocery store when “that guy” comes up and talks to you? You know the one, the creepy dude who starts asking you about your name, if you live in the area and if you have a boyfriend. We all run into people who creep us out, and not all creepy people are criminals, but…it is always better to err on the side of caution. People who break the normal rules of social engagement usually have an agenda and it could be anything from wanting to get into your wallet to wanting to get into your pants.
Today’s safety tip has to do with avoiding repeated contact with “that guy” by making a note when you have an awkward interaction with someone who just doesn’t feel right. I encourage you to jot down the day, time and place where you were, as well as a brief physical description of the person. If you see that person get into or out of a vehicle, then it also makes sense to write down a brief description of the vehicle and a license plate if possible. Some contact may warrant a police report and the documentation will come in handy. A detailed note might look like this:
Mon. 07/11/11: Starbucks off Little Road @ 7 PM, Creepy white male, about 5’ 08”, 160 lbs, blond hair, brown eyes kept staring at me and tried to sit down with me at my table. He asked me if I wanted to go out with him and tried to touch my hand. He had a tattoo on his right hand that read “Loser” and a scar over his right eye. I saw him get into an older model white Ford Taurus with damage on the left side of the vehicle. The TX license plate was: A123 BCD.
Or it could be as short as: Mon, Starbucks @7PM: Creep alert.
It is always a smart thing to avoid future interaction with that person. Stay off the CPR (Creepy People’s Radar) and make sure you change up your schedule. You need to know that criminals who exhibit this type of behavior are taking notes too. And if they like you, guess where they are going to be next Monday at 7 PM? That’s right, they are going to be at your favorite place circling the parking lot to see if your car is there. This is part of a grooming process that sexual predators use to get close to people they target, although their social interaction skills are usually a little off par (normal people aren’t trying to meet so unnaturally). I have seen people arrested who had notebooks filled with several pages of women’s information and schedules right down to the clothes they were wearing and what they said to them. They are paying attention to your schedule even if you are not.
Stay safe and make an appointment to avoid being in the right place and at the right time with the wrong people.
Tip for Law Enforcement Officer’s: Looking for a Suspicious Person? Try showing up at the same time of day and / or same day of the week as they were reported being at the incident location. Habits are hard to break.