Express kidnapping is alive and well, situational awareness might save your life

We have been looking at a lot of recent case studies on Express Kidnapping, both here at home and overseas. It is alive and well and happens here in the United States as much as it does in foreign countries. Have you considered your situational awareness?

Express kidnapping is the easiest and most secure method of kidnapping in which any street gang can engage. This is also the easiest to get away with because there is no shortage of oblivious targets. The most common location for abduction in one of these cases is centered around bars and nightclubs. The most common time for many of these abductions is between midnight and three o’clock in the morning. Abductions are often as simple as following a lone drunk person a few blocks away from the bar and ambushing them in an isolated area. In other cases, the potential victim is ruphied in a bar and abductors posing as friends get the sick person into their car. In other cases, it involves being lured away by a new acquaintance or a new potential significant other. The truth is that kidnappers only need you long enough to max out your bank account and credit cards, or long enough to prostitute you to thirty or forty clients.

The intent of this post is not to make you paranoid, but to implement security practices into your nights out on the town. You can prevent many of the methods used in express kidnapping by practicing a few simple techniques…

  1. The Buddy System always applies, I think a variation of the Ranger Creed applies here. “Never will I leave a fellow (Ranger) partier to fall into the hands of the enemy.” Despite your friend’s objections and beer vision goggles (BVGs), insist that they go home with you as planned. Remind them that the 6 foot 5 guy or petite little gal they are trying to go home with is not vetted and may cost them their entire bank account.
  2. Carry a low balance credit card with you for the night and leave all other cards at home.
  3. If you leave your drink for any reason, do not come back to it. Consider it contaminated even if you just lost sight of it for more than a second. That goes for both alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks. Yes you can get ruphied if you are the designated driver.
  4. Keep your drink close to your body and protect it. do not let anyone but the wait staff bring you a drink.
  5. Always be wary of any attempt to separate you from the herd. There is no conversation or weak and pathetic pick-up line which cannot be shared with your friends.
  6. Make sure you verify all cabs, Ubers, Lyfts, or other form of transportation.
  7. You can be abducted in a few short blocks. Call a cab or an Uber to get home. Keep some evasion money separate from your drinking money so you can pay the fare.
  8. Have someone responsible on speed dial as a backup evasion plan.
  9. Make sure you do not close the bar down. Wait inside the doors if possible until you see your transportation.
  10. Do not get so drunk that you lose situational awareness or the ability to fight back.
  11. Do not believe for a minute that it cannot happen to you.

You may think to yourself “I am just a (insert your profession here). No one would ever target me.” The reality is it does not matter if you have $25 in your account or several million. Criminals will exploit you if you are a soft target. Take a self-defense class, and never drink alone. Stay safe this summer.

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