Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Put An End to 'Flash Mob Muggings' NOW
These so-called "flash mob muggings" that have happened in the Loop and Near North Side in recent days have everyone on edge because of their violent nature and sophisticated misuse of social media.
And with the attacks happening in prominent areas frequented by tourists, diners and clubgoers (most of whom are carrying/wearing valuables), any one of us can easily become a victim.
These cowards are descending upon their victims in groups of 15 or 20, beating and robbing them. And while I'm certain the Chicago Police Department is on the case, and is doing everything they can at the moment, we must also be proactive so that we do not also become victims.
Now that summer's here, everyone's ready to party a little bit more and we all allow our guards to be down. We're walking down the street talking/texting/tweeting on our phones. We're enjoying ourselves with a few cocktails (or more). We're by ourselves heading to our cars or in search of taxis.
Unfortunately, until this situation is under control, we're going to have to be aware of our surroundings more than ever. Keep your phone at the ready, but try to stay off it. If you see suspicious characters coming your way (or behind you), immediately cross the street. Don't try to be a bad ass.
If you're driving, park in well-lit areas and keep your keys in your hands; don't fumble around for them. If you're taking public transportation (CTA or trains), be aware of your surroundings, particularly if you're in the subway areas. Try to be in well-lit areas that are populated. Try to also have a partner with you as much as possible because it's unlikely they'll strike more than one person.
The most important thing to remember—and most of us are guilty of this one—if you've had more than your share of cocktails, don't head out of the venue by yourself. Ask the hostess, doorman or maître d to grab you a cab (You shouldn't be driving anyway!) and don't leave until it gets there . . .
Be SAFE out there!