Muggers & Financial Predators

A Brief Synopsis Of The SEPS Muggers & Financial Predators Module

If you ask most people where they think muggings occur, they will tell you deserted, dark alleyways, and similar locations. For a criminal planning a mugging, a deserted alleyway, has no potential victims, and a limited number of escape routes, so it’s not a conducive setting for their crime. A mugger will want a rich supply of ever changing victims for them to target, which makes parking lots, transit stops and other similar environments, much more attractive locations. The irony is that we feel safer in these busier locations – than in less populated ones – and often lower our awareness when in them, when we should in fact be raising it.

Predators and criminals follow processes, that consist of identifiable steps and stages. Once we understand these we can start to predict, identify, prevent and avoid becoming victims of these crimes. Once a mugger has selected a location, they will look for suitable victims. How we move, our posture and how we generally conduct ourselves will identify whether we are potential targets; all violent criminals are looking for victims, not people who will resist and fight back. If we walk and like a victim, we increase our chances of being selected as one. Fortunately, we can address these issues, and learn to move in a way, so that we don’t appear on a predator’s radar. A mugger may spend some time observing and conducting surveillance on us, so that they can be sure that they’ve targeted the right individual. They may do this surveillance whilst moving towards you, or as they synchronize their movement with yours – recognizing when somebody has tied their movement to yours is a significant component of good situational awareness. Once they have gained access to you, they may engage in a preparatory conversation, to put you off-guard, or immediately pull a weapon and make their demand(s).

Most muggings and street robberies are committed by criminals supporting a drug-habit. Most muggers, are not well connected, within a criminal fraternity, and are looking for cash, rather than things such as credit cards, and ID’s which would require a third-party to give them cash for these things. In many cases muggers will discard everything but the cash they take from you, as these things may incriminate them if they are caught e.g. having a number of credit cards in other people’s name etc. Most muggers will accept that people don’t carry large amounts of cash on them, and will be satisfied with $20-30, which will be enough to buy their next fix. Having a “decoy wallet”, with this amount of cash in it, will usually be enough to satisfy a mugger, who wants the crime over in the shortest possible time.

There is a lot of well-intentioned advice that is founded in good ideas, but not reality. One of these pieces is that when dealing with a mugger you should throw the wallet away from you, so that they move away and pick it up. There are several issues with this, one of which being you have deliberately gone against the mugger’s demands, unless for some reason they instructed you to do this, which is likely to escalate the situation – there is a good chance that they will cut/hurt you, for doing this, before they go and pick up your wallet. Also, if we consider that muggings happen in relatively busy environments, you might be drawing the attention of others, to what is happening, which puts the mugger under pressure to try and shut you down, before you can bring everybody else’s attention to what is happening (and it is very unlikely that anyone will actually intervene on your behalf). Your best survival plan is to comply with the mugger’s demand, and let them walk away, leaving you unharmed.

If you would like to learn more about muggers and muggings, and how to effectively prevent yourself with becoming a victim, both by hardening yourself as a target, and learning to predict their methods and processes, please click here.

The next class when this topic will be covered at SEPS Women’s Self Defense Boston is shown below:

All classes are held at:

Krav Maga Yahir
Charlestown Maritime Center (3 FL)
200 Terminal Street
Charlestown
MA 02129

Free Onsite Parking Available

Self-Protection Google Talks

SEPS Head Instructor has presented two author talks at Google (one in 2015 and another in 2017). In these talks/presentation he goes through the different processes and methods that criminals and predators use to target and access their victims, and how to predict, prevent and identify them, along with ways to de-escalate aggresive individuals etc.

Gershon Ben Keren 2015 Google Talk


Gershon Ben Keren 2017 Google Talk



Anthony Brooks NPR Interview

In 2013, NPR/WBUR Journalist, Anthony Brooks, visited Krav Maga Yashir Boston, to talk to Head Instructor & SEPS Founder, Gershon Ben Keren, about violent situations where compliance may not be the best option - this was in response to the express kidnapping and murder of Amy Lord in South Boston. In this 15 minute interview, Gershon Ben Keren, talks about different types of violent crime and how to deal with them. To listen to the interview click here.

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