How to Deter a Mugger?

Muggers are among the most desperate and violent of thieves. They are usually Addicts who have abandoned any previously held moral standards, and who badly want to get more drugs. They won’t or can’t work, have spent any savings, and nobody will loan them money. They have exhausted other options such as selling their belongings, or illegal options like selling their body, shoplifting, burglary, scams or con-jobs. There are many alternatives to get money other than direct and violent confrontation of a victim, so this is a last resort. The other option is a mugger is a thrill seeking, risk taking individual, eager for a power, control, domination encounter, and prefers to directly confront a victim, rather than doing it out of desperate necessity when other options have been exhausted. The third option is they are not intelligent enough to acquire money by other means, including illegal ones.

How to Deter a Mugger?

Plan A:

"To protect yourself from muggers, carry a laser guided, fully automatic double barreled shotgun that fires 96 kinetic kill rounds with secondary armor-piercing proximity-detonated fragmentation warheads per second. Have a backup 72- inch chainsaw coated with cyanide and botulism in an ankle holster, and a hyena/Rottweiler/sasquatch mutant dog with anger management issues who won’t take meds and is on crystal meth. This will deter muggers."

OK, now that we got that nonsense out of the way, it is time to discuss Plan B, which is much less exciting, but much more realistic. 

Plan B:

Through awareness of the habits of muggers, and choosing to avoid high-risk situations, you can make yourself safer. If you fail at avoidance and awareness, don’t try fighting a mugger. It won’t turn out well. Remember you will be facing someone who is either desperate and feels they have nothing to lose, or who enjoys violence. Chances are they will be much better at using violence than you ever could be, or would ever want to be. It is said that mugging is a form of contractual violence. The mugger is offering to engage in a contract with you. They are willing to give you your life in exchange for some money. This is a great deal. Give them your cash. Under most circumstances, the best tactical move is to hand over your money. Keep some cash in a money clip for a mugger, so you don’t have to give yup your wallet and lose your ID which is a greater loss then $50 in cash and will be more difficult to replace, Or carry an old wallet with some cash in it in your other pocket to hand over. 

When they go away, thank them silently for not shooting you. Real life is not an action movie. The chances that you will be able to disarm a mugger without getting shot in the process are very small. A mugger pointing a gun at you is in a position of great advantage; you are in a virtually indefensible position of disadvantage. All the mugger has to do is move his index finger about a ½ inch against about six pounds of pressure, and the gun will fire. Unless you are a very unique individual, with the reflexes of a cat, and a superbly refined neuromuscular system capable of generating powerful precise movements under adrenal stress, chances are you will fail, and be shot. The best self-defense experts concur that the only time you should resist someone with a gun is if you have complied with their demands and they still intend to shoot you. At this point you have nothing to lose. Your chances of successfully countering someone pointing a knife at you are also too low to warrant a response other than giving up your money. The only time to resist is if you have complied with their demands and they are still intent on cutting/stabbing you. 

So far, all of this is damage control, salvaging a situation that has gone bad. Here is an even better plan: 

  1. Learn where muggers are mostly likely to be.
    Don’t go where muggers are.
  2. Learn when the muggers will be there.
    Don’t be there when the muggers are there.

Most crime in an urban area is confined to specific areas, at specific times. Every city has that bad section, often very close by the good sections, where people don’t go unless they are looking to buy drugs or the services of a prostitute. Stay out of these areas, especially at night, and in warm weather, when street crime tends to be more active. 

  1. Be aware of your surroundings and the people around you. Don’t walk down the street texting, talking on a device, wearing ear buds, or otherwise distracted. Notice anyone walking toward you on an intercept course, or gradually closing distance with you, while looking like they are trying not to be noticed.
  2. Choose to avoid people and places that make you feel uncomfortable. Listen to your intuition, if something feels wrong it is wrong. Never second guess yourself.
  3. Don’t look like a victim. Carry yourself with confidence. Stand up straight, hold your head up, and walk briskly like you know where you are going. Don’t look anxious or hesitant.

    Example: A woman in her sixties was out for an evening stroll with her dog. She was carrying a five foot section of 2x4. She kept glancing around, with an anxious look on her face.

    That she was a woman and elderly did not make her look like a potential victim. Her fearful countenance, the way she kept glancing around her looking for someone jumping out of a corner at her, and the section of 2x4 she carried all betrayed a barely controlled fear. Most people do not go for walks with a 2x4. This broadcasts fear. In any event, unless you have training and are well-practiced, a skilled and tough street fighter is not going to be stopped by someone swinging a 2x4. Chances are they will take it away from you and beat you with it.

  4. Don’t advertise your valuables. Do not count your cash in public after going to an ATM.
  5. Don’t make yourself vulnerable. Don’t get drunk in public. If you become so intoxicated that you lose awareness of your surroundings, and lose control of your actions, you will be an easy target.
  6. Most violent crime involves people who know each other. Don’t associate with people who refuse to work, use drugs, get drunk regularly, have constant involvement with the police, and blame everyone else for what is wrong with their life. Find a better class of friends. Trusting and associating with habitual troublemakers is a mistake. At some point they may turn their aggression on you, and decide you are their next victim. 


The bottom line is never making you an easy target. And don’t overestimate your ability, or underestimate what someone else is willing to do or capable to do.