What to Do If You Encounter a Robbery on the Streets in the United States?

Robbery is a frightening experience, and encountering it on the streets can be particularly distressing. However, knowing how to react can help you stay safe and minimize harm. In this article, we’ll discuss practical steps to take if you find yourself facing a robbery situation.

1. Stay Calm and Assess the Situation

When confronted with a robbery, try to remain calm. Panic can cloud your judgment and make the situation worse. Take a deep breath and quickly assess the following:

  • Number of Perpetrators: Are there one or more robbers? Knowing this will help you gauge the level of threat.
  • Weapons: Are the robbers armed? If you see a weapon, take it seriously and comply with their demands.
  • Escape Routes: Mentally note nearby exits or safe places where you can seek refuge.

2. Comply with Demands

Remember that your safety is the top priority. Cooperate with the robbers and follow their instructions. Avoid making sudden movements or resisting. Hand over your belongings if asked, and don’t argue or provoke them.

3. Maintain Distance

Keep a safe distance from the robbers. Maintain eye contact without being confrontational. This shows that you’re aware of their presence and can identify them later if needed.

4. Observe Details

Pay attention to details about the robbers: their appearance, clothing, height, build, and any distinguishing features. This information will be crucial for law enforcement.

5. Avoid Heroics and Consider Self-Defense Tools

Resist the urge to be a hero. Your life is more valuable than any possessions. Don’t attempt to fight back unless absolutely necessary for self-defense.

While it’s crucial to prioritize your safety over possessions during a robbery, understanding self-defense techniques and tools can be empowering. Here are some additional points to consider:

  • Self-Defense Tools:
    • Pepper Spray: Carry a small canister of pepper spray. It’s effective for creating a temporary distraction and allowing you to escape.
    • Personal Alarms: These small devices emit a loud sound when activated. They can startle the robber and attract attention.
    • Whistle: A simple whistle can be a powerful tool. Blow it loudly to alert others nearby.
    • Flashlight: A sturdy flashlight can serve as both a light source and a blunt object for self-defense.
    • Rings Knife: If you wear a ring knife, they can be used for self-defense. However, only use them if absolutely necessary for your safety.

6. After the Robbery

Once the robbers leave, take the following steps:

  • Stay Put: Wait a few minutes to ensure they’re gone.
  • Call 911: Report the incident to the police. Provide them with the details you observed.
  • Seek Help: If you’re injured or need assistance, ask a passerby or go to a nearby business for help.
  • Notify Your Bank and Credit Card Companies: If your wallet was stolen, contact your bank and credit card companies to cancel cards and prevent unauthorized transactions.
  • Emotional Support: Experiencing a robbery can be traumatic. Seek emotional support from friends, family, or a counselor.


Encountering a robbery is terrifying, but staying calm and following these steps can increase your chances of staying safe. Remember that material possessions can be replaced, but your well-being cannot.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Should I try to chase the robbers?
    • No, it’s not advisable. Chasing them could put you in further danger. Focus on your safety and call the police instead.
  2. What if the robbers are armed?
    • Comply with their demands. Your life is more important than any possessions.
  3. Can I scream for help during a robbery?
    • If you believe it’s safe to do so, yes. Drawing attention may deter the robbers.
  4. Should I memorize the robbers’ faces?
    • Yes, if possible. This information will assist law enforcement.
  5. How can I prevent future incidents?
    • Be aware of your surroundings, avoid poorly lit areas, and trust your instincts.

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