There’s been many incidents happening every week and crime rates had been getting from bad to worst in KL and around Klang Valley areas in Malaysia from what I’ve seen on newspapers, people sharing of the narrow escape of an incident especially in shopping malls for the past 1 month or so. I’ve read many of the tips shared by these brave women who had been lucky or rather; they were alert and had common sense within them.
Sometimes you can be smart and alert to not be targeted as a victim, here are some tips you should keep in the back of your head and practice it every second.
Walking on the streets:
When walking alone, to prevent snatch theft make sure you carry you handbag on the direction where it’s not towards the road. Example, if you’re walking by the pavement, motorists are passing on your right hand-side, place your handbag on your left shoulder.
Never sling your bag around your waist as when your targeted as a victim, you may be unlucky and be dragged for meters till the theft decides to give up or cut off the sling bag and run off on a motorcycle.
Keep your mobile phones in your pocket or in your bag. Never text, call or update status onto your profile or even listen to music while walking, it’s very dangerous. Your phone may be snatch away or since your attention is focused on your mobile phones, it gives an advantage for snatch thieve to target you as your not staying alert or didn’t heard there’s a motorcycle coming from the back. Ladies, I know we can multitask however; you’ll lose focus when you’re typing and loses focus towards your surrounding.
If possible keep your cash and mobile phones in your pocket pick jeans or a pant that comes with pocket so your valuables will be with you in case your bag is snatched away.
It’s not advisable to walk on the streets alone especially late at night, if you really have to try asking a friend to accompany you or when getting off a venue such as walking back from LRT station to your home, before you step out of the LRT station, text a family member or a close friend saying you’ve just got off the train and is now walking back home so at least someone will know your whereabouts and should start worrying or start suspecting if something went wrong after an hour or so your still not back home yet.
You may check-in to “foursquare” about your location however, just in case if anything happens your family member should know where is the last place you’ve been before you disappeared. If your family members do not have access to your “foursquare” it’s sort of useless, unless you publish your check-ins on your public Twitter profile but that may attract stalkers who stalk your every act on social media. So just send a short text is the best solution.
If you’re always walking back to your home or to a particular location, make sure you change routes or timings if possible to avoid others from targeting you.
Avoid flagging down taxis from the street. If you must, don’t sit behind the driver as it may be easy for the driver to lock the rear passenger door – always choose the adjacent seat. If possible, order a taxi in advance so that the driver can be traced, by paying a little extra is better safe than sorry.
Get a cab via MyTeksi as taxi drivers information are sent to your mobile in the app so you can print screen and send to a loved one or family member before getting onto the taxi. Make sure, driver match the details and picture, else do not take the taxi at all cost.
When you call to book, you will be given a reference number so before taking the taxi, you may ask the driver to verify his reference number make sure it’s a match.
Always check the identification of the driver (usually located near the visor side window) and ensure that it matches the taxi driver.
For LRT, Monorail or bus, make sure you zip your bags and try not to allow anyone to be standing too close to you. Move around a little, if possible stand by the corners.
We’ve witness snatch thieves getting smarter and well equipped when attacking single female drivers in KL and PJ areas. While driving alone, ladies please do not put your handbag at the passenger seat. There’ve been many cases including my aunt experienced where snatch thieves broke their car side window and used a metal hook to grab the bag while zooming off during traffic light.
You may place your bag under the passenger seat, or if it’s an expensive bag and you didn’t want to dirty it you may place it in between the handbrakes and use a scarf to cover it so it’s not too visible when motorcycle passes you by during a jam. Another alternative way would be to use the safety belt and lock in your handbag handles while placing it as low as possible – so it’s not too visible for other motorist.
You may want to keep a pepper spray in the car instead of hooking it to your car keys as if an incident does occur when a snatch thieve attempt to snatch your bag, after breaking the window and they failed to snatch away your bag due to unable to reach your bag, you may want to spray onto their face.
If someones bangs into your bumper, it’s late at night or even during the day time, you noticed there’s a few guys in the car, do not stop and come out to look at the damage. Take note of the car model, colour and car number plate. Insurance companies nowadays have synchronization of car registrations and can be traced easily if the other party is filing a claim. Drive off to the nearest police station or a huge crowded petrol station, as long you feel its safe. Park your car but do not get out of the car, then call your family members, friend, boyfriend or husband, whoever to come and assist you to accompany you to make a police report. Don’t just go on your own self it’s better if someone is there to accompany you. You can just park your car inside the police station as long as you like, since your inside the car anyway, then wait till your partner or family member arrives – also please park with considerations.
In shopping malls / office buildings:
Ladies, I know sales seems attractive and sometimes your in a mood for shopping or you’ve just got to check out a few more stuff before leaving the mall and after you paid you realized half the shops outside the store you were in had closed and people had left the mall leaving only very few walking towards the basement. Always try to leave the mall 30 minutes before closing time that is about 9.30pm for most malls in Malaysia as they close around 10pm.
While shopping, don’t assume crime don’t happen in shopping malls. I myself had been picked-pocket in a well known shopping mall in KL very popular among tourist too, I lost my phone thankfully my wallet was still with me as I kept it deep under my handbag – lesson learnt. Always zip your bag (get a bag with zip) especially when your bargain hunting for sales items and loses focus on your bag, when it’s crowded someone may accidentally bump into you and pick-your-pocket/bag without you noticing.
Never be the last person to leave your office, if you really need to work overtime make sure, you know the exits and if possible re-park your car nearest to the lift entrance so you won’t have to walk a distance to your car late at night. Try to ask someone to stay up with you or if possible just bring the work back to do at home.
In carpark area:
Park only at the destination your going, ladies don’t save a few bucks *ringgits and park somewhere outside the shopping mall or building and thought it’s only a few minutes walk of a short distance. That few minutes may be the opportunity you’ve given others to rob you or worst kidnapping. That few bucks are not worth if anything bad happens to you!
Always remember which lift, escalator or exit entrance you took when you park your car. Some buildings or shopping malls have various lifts and some car parks don’t connect to different parking zones.
Always remember where you park. If you have short-term memory, I’m sure most of us use a smart phone, just snap a picture of the pillar with the zone and lot number so you may refer to it later. Park your car in bright-lighted areas, avoid parking at dark spots or corners towards the end of a dead end etc. it’s prone to be easily targeted, do take note of “panic buttons” around you, if there is.
Once you’ve parked your car and off your engine, get out of your car immediately and walk to the nearest entrance and when you get into your car the first thing you do is to lock your car doors immediately, then start your engine and leave the parking area. Do not check your mobile phones, make calls, touch up your make-up and etc.
Remember to take your parking ticket with you, so you don’t have to make another trip back to your car just to pay for parking at auto pay machines. Do keep small change as most auto pay machines do not accept RM 50 notes and if you’re going back really late you may be trapped as shops may be closed.
Don’t leave your iPads, laptop, camera or any valuables in your car, not even your car boot. There’s some electronic device, which others can use to scan to detect if there’s any laptop in your car. Never open your car boot and put in bags or anything, which looked like valuables after you parked your car. If you need to do so, you should put your stuff at the back of the car boot before you start your journey instead of medaling with it in the car park.
While walking to your car park, you can hold your keys facing outwards in between your middle fingers and ring fingers so you can be prepared to punch the attacker at it’s stomach or just hurt him before he grabs you and hold the remote on your right index fingers and thumbs to get ready to press the remote to unlock your car doors.
Never ever click the unlock button on the remote when your still a distance away from your car. That way, you’re just indicating to the attacker, which is your car, and he’ll be hunting for you by your car. Only press the unlock button when you can reach your car door then quickly open and get in then lock your doors immediately.
If your lost or you felt uneasy to walk alone to your car, some shopping malls offers security service where you can get a security guard to accompanied you to your car. Or if you’ve got friends with you but they parked elsewhere if the basement/parking zones are inter-link you may ask your friend to accompany you and then drive to their cars to drop them off, that way, both of you don’t have to walk alone. *Make sure the parking zones can be linked else, you end up being stuck rounding the parking area – this only applies when you know the direction of a mall/building well!
What to do if you can’t use your remote to lock your car doors?
Apparently there have been incidents where devices can interfere with the frequency of your remote lock, which you can’t lock your car doors. Immediately, get into your car and drive off, as once you use the key to lock your car instead. Within minutes your car would probably be drove off without any alarm ringing.
These are just safety tips for women. I hope you find it useful, I’ve been practicing this ever since when my mum was fetching me to school early in the morning, a robber came out of no where outside my house and high-jacked my mum’s car asking us to leave the car and he drove off – we didn’t even had the chance to lock the doors as he came real quick. There was a tingling sixth sense as I saw shadows moved behind bushes, but I had ignore it in just 3 sec then suddenly it was happening, we’ve been robbed.
To prevent incidents from happening to you, usually our instinct and common sense had alerted us, apart from being aware of our surroundings at all times. Get yourself a pepper spray and attend some self-defense workshops to equip yourself when being attacked. Never wear clothes that are too revealing or heels that are hard to run in. When things do happen, keep calm and don’t panic so you can clear your mind and think of a way to get out of the situation.