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Six Common Criminal Types And How To Avoid Them

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"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" that saying is as true for crime, as it is for health. After taking literally thousands of reports over the years I spent as a police officer; I found that a lot of crimes that had happened could have been prevented. The easiest and most effective way of dealing with crime is not be a victim of it in the first place. This is easier said then done, and no matter how cautious you are you can still be a victim. Nothing will give you a 100% guarantee; however, there are things you can do to at least limit your odds of being a victim. But first; you have to know what you are preventing yourself from, in order to know how to prevent against it. This article will in general show you some of the common criminal types, and give some suggestions on how to avoid them. I have made up my own classifications for these people based upon my experience as a police officer.

Passive thieves:

Passive thieves are those who steal but are not aggressive towards their victims. They prefer their victims not to be around. These people usually are the ones who will break into your car, home, business etc. They are impulsive and really do not think much about the penalties they will face if they get caught. Sometimes they pre plan to do a crime, but other times they see an opportunity and go for it. For example: a thief is walking through a parking lot and sees a laptop sitting on the front seat of a unoccupied vehicle. Next thing you know the window is smashed and the laptop is gone.

Now the thief didn't preplan to take the laptop, or to target that particular vehicle. They just saw an opportunity and went for it, without even thinking for a second about who the victim is, or what will happen to them if they get caught. Some of the common items they steal are cash, checks, credit cards, purses, laptops, or if they break into your home they will also target: desktop computers, TV's, VCR's, DVD player, tools, jewelry, basically anything they think they can turn into cash. These types of criminals are some of the easiest to deal with from a preventative nature. Because they are always looking for an easy opportunity, your best defense is not to give them one. Some of the common things people (potential victims) inadvertently do which create easy opportunities are listed below.

? Leaving their keys in the car
? Leaving the house unlocked
? Leaving the car unlocked
? Making it obvious that they are gone for an extended period of time.
? Leaving valuables in the car that are in plain view
? Leaving their vehicle running while unattended
? Leaving their purse in the shopping cart while shopping

These are just a few examples to give you the general idea. In my book "Crime Awareness 101" I cover the above bulleted items in much greater detail. I also break down 11 specific crimes and give more preventive tips, and I include what to do after the fact.

Aggressive thieves:

These types of criminals are much more dangerous and much harder to prevent against. They mostly focus on doing armed robberies, and expect their victims to be there. They are violent in nature and very unpredictable. They care nothing about the victim, and lately it appears that they are more then willing to kill. The do pre plan their crimes somewhat but not usually very well, their main tool of control is their intimidation, and the weapon they carry. Even without a weapon they can be dangerous and will fight ferociously. They usually wont stay around long if they are just robbing a business, or an individual on the street. However; if they take the victim somewhere or get into get them in a insolated area, then the crime may turn to rape, aggravated assault, or murder. Here are some activities which may invite this type of problem.

? Not being aware of you surroundings
? Being alone late at night, or in unsafe areas
? Displaying large amounts of cash or valuables
? Working at convenience stores, or gas stations.
? Letting people in your home that you do not know.

In my book "Crime Awareness 101" I give detailed explanations about the above bullets, and what to do about it.

Passive Assaulters:

These are your date rape type. They are not actively aggressive however they are sneakier. They preplan their attacks, or take advantage of someone who has put themselves in a vulnerable position ( for example someone who is passed out from intoxication or drug use). They will appear to be your friend and then slip something in your drink (date rape drug) to knock you out, where they can then take advantage of you. The unfaithful business traveler can also fall victim to these criminals. Only this time it will be an attractive female who acts as if she is attracted to him. When they get alone she will slip something in his drink to knock him out and then rob him. Usually the unfaithful business traveler is too embarrassed to report this type of crime so you don't hear about it much. The date rape criminal is the one you need to be concerned about. In my book "Crime Awareness 101" I give a complete explanation on date rape and what to look for including the following topics:

? Potential date rapist behavioral signs that should raise a red flag
? Circumstances that are favorable to this crime and how to avoid them
? Preventative tips for both rape and date rape
? Suggestions of what to do when confronted with a rapist

Alcohol induced troublemakers:

These types of people are normally pretty descent people, but when they drink they become a monster. We had one person who was huge, strong as an ox, and when he drank look out it was going to be fight night. We would always have to wrestle with him, once we had him cuffed and in the back seat of the car. He would sit and smash his head against the plastic divider so hard that he would cut it open, and then off to the hospital we would go. Once he got into a cell he would do the same thing against the cell wall cutting his head open and again off to the hospital we would go. Usually arresting him meant a fight, two trips to the hospital, and having at least three officers tied up for hours. Yet when he was sober he was the nicest guy, alcohol just made him extremely violent. Of course he mixed a few drugs in there too, but alcohol was the main cause for his violence. You will encounter these types at the bar, sporting events, large parties, and unfortunately sometimes weddings. The best defense against these types is just stay clear of them, and don't get into any confrontations with them.

Silent Assaulters:

These are typically your domestic violence types. They are outwardly pretty meek and mild, where most people that know them outside of the home would never think they are domestic abusers; however, inside the home structure they are very controlling, and that control is enforced through physical assaults and psychological degradation. I remember one incident where a woman was severely beaten by her live in boyfriend. She was surprised that she ever got into this situation. She stated that she was an educated professional woman, and her abuser was a well educated man making a six figure income. According to her, he is kind off a geek that nobody would give a second thought of as far as being a threat. However, he beat her so badly that she was hospitalized with a closed head injury. It's very important to really know the person you are getting involved with. Many times red flags will appear early in the relationship that are signs that the person could be a domestic abuser. I have written a complete section on domestic violence which is covered in my book "Crime Awareness 101." In that section I talk about what to look for, preventative measures to take, the cycle of violence, plus what to do when you are a victim. I also list numerous support groups and other resources.


These are criminals who are better known as con artists. They pre plan their scams and are usually very good at them. They are normally non violent, very good at getting your trust, and talking their way out of situations. They offer free trips, discounted services, money, etc? whatever they offer its just front to get you interested, in the end they are going to take your money. They may also pose as your Medical Insurance carrier, Bank, Credit Card Company, etc, and con you into telling them your personal information. These con artists attempt their scams in person, over the phone, and through the internet. In my book "Crime Awareness 101" I wrote a chapter on scams which list some of the more common scams and what to look out for. In the members area of my website I list, and consistently update even more scams.

About the author: Scott Shaper is a former police officer with over fourteen year's law enforcement experience. He is also the author of the book "Crime Awareness 101", and the operator of the website Visit his website for more crime prevention articles and information about his book.

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