Five Things To Do if You Are Robbed (According to the St. Louis Circuit Attorney)

Categories: Crime
"Give the robber whatever they ask for. No possession is worth more than your life. Period," wrote Joyce.
Full disclosure up-front: this is a bit of a let down.

There are, in fact, hundreds or thousands of things you could do when getting robbed (the exact number is based on whether you count "turn and run" and "point over the robber's shoulder and say 'what is that?' then turn and run" separately).

You could kick the (male) robber in the groin and book it. You could throw your wallet/purse high in the air, which should momentarily distract your assailant, then sprint around the nearest corner. You could summon/feign empathy and say something like, "You know what man, I can't even blame you. Two of my brothers and one of my uncles just got laid off. Tough times..." and hope that the inevitable bond between you and the robber leads to him letting you go. Or, if you feel confident enough to make these kind of presumptions, you could go with a variation and say something like, "You know what man, I can't even blame you. The way [those damn ignorant Republicans are/that damn socialist Obama is] running this country, you might well be a step ahead of all of us!"

Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce has seen hundreds of robbery cases (there were more than 2,000 reported robberies in St. Louis in 2010). So she is in a good position to articulate "Five Things To Do if You are Robbed," which is what she (or a staffer) titled a post yesterday on her office's remarkably informative Facebook page (one recent post explained the legal differences between "robbery," "burglary" and "stealing").

With her knowledge and expertise, it seemed reasonable to expect from this list a few super secret tricks of the trade that would have you mowing down hooligans like Oh Dae-su in that concrete corridor in Oldboy.

Instead, her advice is more prudent and, in many ways, more useful:

1. Give the robber whatever they ask for. No possession is worth more than your life. Period.

2. Assume all weapons are real and loaded. You don't want to guess wrong on this.

3. Pay attention to your attacker so you can give as many details as possible to the police. Try to remember things like height, distinguishing features, clothing and direction of flight.

4. Call 911 as soon as you're out of danger an[d] give the police a complete a description as possible.

5. If there are witnesses, ask them to stay until police arrive. Ask for their name and contact information.

Remember: You[r] chances of being robbed are small, yet thinking about it now will help you remember these tips in spite of the adrenaline if you are ever a victim.

Feel free to print, cut and laminate.

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