How To Avoid Being Mugged In New York

How To Avoid Being Mugged In New York
Hints To Help You Keep What Little You Have
Mugged, How To Avoid Being
New York City, New York, USA, Earth

Warren Kurt vonRoeschlaub


After years of study, sociologists have determined that the two biggest causes of muggings in New York are muggers and tourists. Since you will be unable to affect the first (indeed, even the local police have given up on that endeavor), the second option is the only factor that you can alter to reduce the chances of being mugged.

Since the second big factor in muggings is tourists, and because if you are not a native to New York, then you are by definition a tourist; the easiest way to avoid being mugged in New York is to not go there. If you insist on visiting, the second best way is to act like a native New Yorker. This involves keeping the following principals in mind.

  1. Dress like a native. This means no funny hats, no matter how hard a member of your group may whine and call you a party pooper. It is also extremely foolish to where brightly colored shirts, shorts no matter how hot it is, or those really big joke sunglasses they sell on practically every street corner.
  2. Don't gawk. New York invites itself to gawking, either at the tall buildings, the strange looking people, or the unusual street displays. Not to mention the guy standing in the middle of Park Avenue during rush hour urinating on a parked Mercedes. Don't stare. The native New Yorker has grown so accustomed to the unusual that they think David Lynch isn't very creative and Salvador Dali was a realist. Never act surprised, even if a man who obviously hasn't had a bath since the Nixon administration tries to attract your attention by dropping his pants and singing "Born Free" in falsetto.
  3. Never, ever, go into an alley without a fully loaded M16 and at least two hand grenades at the ready. Even then you may be out armed.
  4. When on a street, never buy anything for less than half of what it would cost in a store, because this may just be an attempt to get you to pull out your wallet. If you do take your wallet out of your pocket or purse on the street, be sure you have at least two friends to block anybody running by.
  5. Never enter a park without an armed escort, and even then not after dark. Note that some parks are only three or four square meters; this does not make them safer. Remarkably, Central Park is an exception to this. Despite its reputation, Central Park is one of the safest parks to visit during the day. The safest safe place is the southernmost four blocks.
  6. Don't enter any portion of the subway without at least two people who obviously don't know each other already in it. A careful study has shown that the safety of entering an empty part of the subway alone is somewhere between ramming a poker through your skull and eating a plate of ground glass for breakfast.

Parts of the city to avoid:

         - All of it.
         - Any part of Manhattan above 110th street, or above 90th
           street after dark.  This area is commonly known as the
           death zone.
         - Any part of the Bronx south of Maine.  Not the street,
           the state.
         - Queens, near the airport, and along the river.  Also any
           area where the number of burnt out buildings is larger
           than the number of people on the street.  That is to
           say almost the whole of Queens.
         - Staten Island, anywhere near the ferry landings or on
           the edge of a freeway that runs through a ditch.  Most
           of the freeways on Staten Island do.
         - Brooklyn, everywhere if you are in a car.  If you are not
           in a car, the waterfront and airport areas are good places
           to avoid.

What to do if you are being mugged:

Do not shout "Help, police!" as studies have shown this causes police to flee from you while at the same time attracting even more muggers. If you want the mugger to be stopped shout "Hey, this guy is giving away free money!"

If you know martial arts, don't use them. Nine times out of ten a guy with a gun beats a martial arts expert, regardless of what you have seen in the latest Chuck Norris picture.

If someone in a car grabs your bag, let go. Each year three people are killed in drive-by bag snatchings. This is mainly because there are only about three people born each year stupid enough to hold onto their bag while they are being dragged around the streets of New York. If you wear a purse, do not wrap it around your neck thinking it will be harder to steal, or you will be person number four.

Do not put your wallet in your back pocket. Besides it being easier to steal, any chiropractor will tell you that it ruins your posture. It isn't very good for your pants either, so keep your wallet in your front pocket.

Common mugging methods:

A pickpocket never works alone; there are always at least three people: a blocker, a snatcher, and a shill. The blocker forces you to stand still long enough for the snatcher to grab your wallet and then pass it off to the shill in case you notice it is missing. If a person blocks your way, and pretends to move out of the way while still blocking you, there is a very high probability your wallet is being snatched. When this happens, if you immediately turn around and physically attack the person standing directly behind you there is a small chance you will get your wallet back, depending on whether the wallet has been passed off or not. This has worked at least once in the past.

If a person, for any reason, asks you to come into an alley, do not do it. The most common method is to suggest that you will be able to purchase a gold necklace for under ten dollars. It is very tempting to enter an alley for such a good deal, but rest assured you have better chances getting a lawyer to worry about morals than buying that necklace. If there are less than three armed people waiting for you in the alley then the person was new at the job.

Do not get involved with any betting on the street. Even if you, by some great miracle of chance, happen to win at any of the fine sidewalk betting tables, rest assured you will never be able to claim your winnings. Look about you as you walk past any of these, and note any people over two meters tall and 120 kilos. These people almost certainly are there to separate any lucky fellow from the table before the winnings are claimed.

If you feel a gun barrel in your back, it is okay to relax. Almost every time, it turns out that this "gun barrel" is really just a short piece of piping. However, due to the small chance it is not a pipe it is a good idea to hand over your wallet anyway. New York is surpassed only by Washington DC and Dallas for its murder rate, and Washington DC doesn't count because that's where all the politicians are.

See also

Hints To Help You Keep What Little You Have
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Warren Kurt vonRoeschlaub
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