Thursday, August 9, 2007

Beware of robbery in Alhambra

Yesterday, my friend told me that her friends got robbed in the parking lot behind Phoenix Inn Chinese Cusine on Valley Blvd. It was around midnight and they got robbed by four people, three threatening them and one driving. All of them wore some kind of masks and were armed with knifes. Her friends gave them all their valuable belongings but fortunately no one was hurt. They called the police afterwards but I'm not sure even anyone is caught at this point.

This is the third time my friend's friends got robbed in the Alhambra area already (I don't know why her friends are so unlucky).

Man, when did Alhambra became so dangerous?

My friend said that it's probably due to the increasing number of light clubs and bars since those patrons serve as very good "targets" for robbery.

Did a little bit of research about preventing and reacting to robbery and would like to share with you:

Preventing robbery
  • Avoid going to/through places where lighting are inadequate
  • Walk with a group of friends (2 robbers probably won't target a group of 10 people)
  • Glance behind you from time to time
  • If there're suspicious people on your way to the parking lot/in the parking lot, go back to the bar/club/restaurant and call for help
  • If you sense that someone is following you, go to places where you'll find people around you as soon as possible
  • Bring a personal alarm with you. Trigger it immediately when you're very certain that someone approaching is going to pose a danger to you (if s/he has a knife or gun in his hand!)
  • Have you keys ready when you come close to your car. Don't stand alone and look for it in your handbag since you won't know someone is approaching you!
  • Watch around before stepping into or out of your car
  • Check if somebody is already in the backseat before stepping into your car!
  • Keep the car doors locked and windows rolled up when you're driving
  • If you car is being followed, drive to the closest well-lit gas station, or, better yet, police station
  • If you get into a car accident at late night, signal the other driver to drive to a well-lit public place. You won't know if he's trying to hit your car and lure you out to rob you
  • If someone suspicious approaches you when you stop at a red light or stop sign, blow your horn repeatedly
  • If there're suspicious people hanging around your home, drive to some public place where you can call for help
  • If some "good" fellows tell you that your car has some problem (like a broken tire), drive to the closet well-lit public place to check it
  • Don't stay out too late!
Reacting to robbery
  • Stay calm and don't scream. The robbers may attack you to "make your mouth shut"
  • Even if no immediate weapon is visible, believe that the robber is armed if s/he claims so
  • Cooperate with the robber! Your life is much more valuable their your money and belongings
  • Silently note the physical appearance of the robber: height, sex, race, face, clothing, etc.
  • Although we say that you should cooperate with the robber, there're exceptions. If the robber is trying to (1) attack you, (2) force you into his/her car, you have to resist!! (Think about it, if s/he only wants your money, why would s/he take you to somewhere else?)
  • This one is obvious: dial 9-1-1 as soon as the robber leaves. Listen to the instructions given by the police
In any case, remember that your personal safety is the most important. Be careful!