Whether you're exploring the bustling streets of London or the narrow alleys of Southeast Asia, travelers and locals alike face one common problem; drive-by mugging. Petty criminals are no longer hiding in the shadows, waiting for the perfect opportunity to pounce and nick your valuables from your bag without your knowledge. Now, they operate in broad daylight, riding mopeds or scooters to steal smartphones and bags from unsuspecting pedestrians. They are also more likely to get away with it.
In this guide, you will learn how drive-by thieves operate and how to protect yourself from these petty criminals.
How Drive-By Mugging Works
Drive-by or moped mugging is on the rise around the world. These petty thieves usually work in pairs. While one is in charge of driving the scooter or motorbike, the other is responsible for snatching bags and smartphones out of the hands of bystanders. Police say that these criminals rehearse the act. Not only do they learn how to spot ideal targets, but they also practice how to get away from these situations.
If you’re walking around with a phone in your hand, completely unaware of these crimes, someone could brazenly snatch it from you within seconds.
Police have been unable to reduce these crimes since they aren't willing to risk their necks in high-speed chases, all for a stolen phone. As of now, the best way we can prevent such crimes from happening is by being more vigilant.
How to Avoid Moped Mugging
Drive-by thieves often carry knives, hammers, or guns to scare their victims. They are also not afraid to brandish their weapons if their targets resist. It's not just the pedestrians who are vulnerable to moped muggers. Drivers and scooter riders have also fallen victim to these schemes. To prevent such confrontations, you shouldn't make yourself an easy target.
Here are some ways to protect yourself:
- Avoid answering calls. Whether you're driving or walking down the street, don't take out your phone to answer a call. Go inside a coffee shop or whatever safe space you can find to answer important calls.
- Don't use your headphones. It's hard to resist, but using your headphones will make it easier for criminals to catch you off guard.
- Be cautious around transport hubs. Criminals often strike around these areas. That's because pedestrians often feel like they are already in a safe space where they can use their phones and other digital devices.
- Carry your belongings on the shoulder away from the street. Drive-by thieves can easily snatch or cut your bag's straps when you carry them on the shoulder that's next to the road.
Drive-by muggings are on the rise because law enforcement officers have yet to come up with a solution for such a widespread problem. The best way to protect yourself is to avoid being an easy target. Take the extra safety precautions to reduce your chances of getting mugged. Whether you're traveling to a foreign country or heading to work, you can use Clever Travel Companion gear to store your most valuable possessions in places that thieves won't suspect.