Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Lessons Learned in an Attempted Robbery

After last week's little incident, I went in and made a formal report at the police station, and I learned a few things I thought I'd pass on:

First, robbery of any kind - even if there's no weapon and it's not successful - is regarded as a fairly serious crime. I was a little surprised by that. I mean, I'm not particularly fearful each time I go out; but I do know several people who have been robbed once in their life. I kinda figured - you live in a big city, they're probably going to get you some time. Which may be true, but the police still take it quite seriously.

Which leads me to my second lesson. Don't hesitate to call the police. And if you don't have their number, call 9-1-1. This one really surprised me! My judgement of the appropriateness for the use of 9-1-1 is probably a combination of hearing "9-1-1 IS ONLY FOR EMERGENCIES!" so many times and of believing "Emergencies are when someone is at risk of dying or losing a major asset (crashes and fires, etc.)." But actually, 9-1-1 is appropriate if there is a crime in progress (the assailant is still around) or if you feel you or someone else is in danger (such as the next person walking down that street - who I was worried about!). And if you still feel uncomfortable calling 9-1-1 for less dramatic incidents such as these, well then, Go! Right now! Put your local police headquarters' non-emergency phone number into your cell phone! It's in mine... now.

And thirdly, the officer who took my report told me that even in direct confrontations like this, you should take note of any potential get-away car, as the robbers usually work in pairs and a man walking around with a purse looks mighty suspicious!


Aly sun said...

Still a wee bit freaked out. Good advice though.

Sarah said...

Good to know, thanks!

meg said...

you know I called the non emergency line when I thought our neighbors were abusing their kids late at night/early morning, and the dispatcher told me the same thing...she said call 911 next time.

I have to admit that I wouldn't have thought to call the police in the attempted purse snatching incident, good to know. thanks Mel.

Melanie said...

Meg - Wow, I would have called non-emergency too. In fact, I did that once when I thought I overheard domestic abuse, but the officer who came didn't say anything about calling 911. Maybe it being kids makes it different.

Brian reminded me after this incident that you're supposed to call 911 if you're a store clerk and someone hands you what you think is a counterfeit bill!

meg said...

Yeah the dispatcher said if it's a 'crime in progress' you should call 911 no matter what. I think I have the same idea about it as you do from childhood. I would NEVER call 911 as a kid, unless an adult told me to or something, so I guess as an adult I don't really know what's necessary.
Interesting about the counterfeit thing.