Case Study: ATM Robbery & Abduction

On the evening of April 14, 2015, a woman was robbed then abducted at a Wells Fargo ATM in Arlington, TX. The crime was caught on the bank’s CCTV video. Fortunately the perpetrator abandoned the car and the woman was unharmed. She was very, very lucky — it could have ended very badly for her.

While it is so important to refrain from blaming the victim, see if you can identify the self-defense behaviors that could have prevented the perpetrator from succeeding in this crime.

First and foremost, paying attention to your surroundings is the most effective way to eliminate a perpetrator’s element of surprise and your improve your opportunity to circumvent an attack. Your attention occupied on a cell phone while you’re in a parking lot, garage, or parked at an ATM is creates an opportunity for attackers.

When you are at an ATM, don’t put the car in park, and certainly do not turn the engine off! Instead, keep your foot on the brake. This way, if you see someone approaching, you can quickly step on the gas and escape.

While it’s easy to watch the video and point out missed opportunities to that could have foiled the crime, it’s more important to understand that 1) you must maintain a self-defense mentality at all times and 2) that thinking through scenarios BEFORE they happen help ensure that IF they happen, you already know what to do.

Granted, it is unfortunate that to help ensure safety, women must always maintain a self-defense mentality, especially when in public. However, that is the small price to pay for doing what you can to ensure you are not a victim.