October 21, 2016

Three Ways Thieves are Targeting You

This past week we had three news items that grabbed my attention:  potential ways that you could be robbed while going about your day:

1.  Thieves called “Sliders” can steal your purse or emergency backpack right out of your car while you’re filling up your tank

I’ve talked about things I’ve witnessed in the gas station before; another thing I noticed was many people do not bother to lock their cars when they get out to pay and pump gas.   They feel like they are right next to the car so why should they bother.  I may be called paranoid about locking the car even when I am just standing outside but this report has given me more reason to do so.  Several gas stations have footage of thieves actually parking next to cars that are being filled then having an accomplice crouch down, open the car door to grab purses or other items while the driver is filling up the tank.  The news reports are calling them “sliders”  

All they do is sneak in and grab whatever is in the front or back seat that is within easy reach, all without anyone noticing until it is too late.

Avoid being victimized:

  • Lock your car doors even if are next to it while filling up the tank.
  • Lock your “go-bag” in the trunk.
  • If you have items in the seats, cover them up or hide them underneath the seats.

2.  Crooks are breaking into storage units

Many preppers who don’t have a lot of space in their home or apartments may rent storage units to keep their supplies.  Storage facilities can be useful, but you have to be choosy about where you decide to rent your unit.


  • Choose a unit that has 24 hour surveillance, with a manager on-site.
  • Use locks that are not easy to break.
  • Find one that requires pass-codes for every entry way into the premises

3.  People being followed and robbed after visiting the bank

This is not a new trend, but I’ve been hearing an increasing number of reports of victims being robbed after going to the bank.  If you operate on a “cash only” system as many of us do, you need to be careful.  There was a local retiree who withdrew her life savings and left the cash in a bag in her car as she stopped at a Whataburger.  When she returned, thieves smashed her car windows and took all her cash.  They must have been following her from the time she left the bank.

  • Keep a watchful eye on who is around you when you park your car to visit the bank, visit the ATM machine or even as you are returning to your car.
  • After you pull out of the bank parking lot, check who is behind you and may be following you.
  • This sounds like common sense, but it bears repeating:  Do not leave your belongings in plain sight when you leave your car, AND if you are carrying a lot of cash, do not leave your money in the car while you do your errands.

Whenever I post about safety, invariably, someone points out that “crime statistics are going down, don’t be an alarmist”  Well, I’d have to say, they may be going down in some areas, but robberies and burglaries are also on the rise in others, and it doesn’t really help is someone gets victimized no matter how low the statistics might be.



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3 Comments on Three Ways Thieves are Targeting You

  1. Thanks for these tips. My wife and I may have been nearly victims of the bank scheme you mention above. We had just cashed our Income Tax refund check, when I noticed a male individual hanging a bit too close to us, able to overhear the transaction conversation. It so happened my wife wanted to check the safety deposit box contents, so while she went to the back, I sat down in lobby – as did the individual. I pulled out my cell phone, consciously pointing the camera at him – he seemed to get nervous and moved off further to side.

    When we were leaving the bank , he was leaving as well – we followed him and took down his license plate #. We then peeled off and nothing came of it. But I still wonder if something was afoot.

    • Hi jrguerra, Too often we hear about victims getting that odd feeling and ignoring it, and regretting it after the become victimized. Sometimes you get that gut feeling that something isn’t right. Sounds like this was one of those times. Glad you trusted your gut and was extra wary.

  2. Sliders!!!

    Wow very brazen. Had no clue this was any kind of trend. I am already typically a “locker” when I go inside, but will think even more now!

    thx bernie!


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