Shopping While Distracted

On Friday, November 28, 2014 at 1 o'clock in the afternoon of Black Friday, Ms. Odila Orozco was walking down a Bronx street with her 3-month old son strapped to her chest as she made her way home. Unbeknownst to her, a robber was waiting nearby watching her, calculating his attack. When Ms. Orozco passed him, he turned around, ran full speed, and kicked her in her back knocking her to the ground on top of her baby! The thief took her cell phone and ran off. This incident was caught on video and is horrible to watch. Thank God both mother and baby were alright and were not seriously injured.

When I viewed the video some things stuck out. Ms. Orozco had a shopping bag in her left hand and her cell phone in her right hand. She was speaking on her phone engrossed in a conversation and did not see the criminal lurking next to her because she was distracted. In addition, her precious baby boy was strapped to her body so they were a lot of moving parts. Now let's be clear. I am not blaming Ms. Orozco for what happened. I am merely making some observations so that we can all be more vigilant in our day to day activities and engage in practices that reduce our chance of becoming victims.

There is a lot of excitement this time of year. Between the shopping, Christmas parties, and family gatherings, it is easy to get distracted. Throw alcohol into the mix and it is easy to see how one may forget their regular practices as they navigate around their cities and towns. Your personal safety and life are more important than a $30 sweater or some big sale. Slow down and pay attention to what is going on around you. We can all play a bigger part in reducing victimization and looking less attractive to criminals on the street.

I leave you with these tips on personal safety:

1. Pay attention to your surroundings. 2. Walk in well lit areas. 3. Scan the street and make a mental note of what and who you see. 4. Try and stick to familiar areas. 5. NEVER walk down the street talking on your cell phone (or listening to music on headphones). 6. Try to walk with others as there is strength in numbers. 7. Let friends and loved ones know where you will be. 8. If you are drinking, ensure that you have a sober buddy with you. 9. If you're out shopping, try to carry packages in one hand so you have a free hand. 10. If you're scared, ask a security officer to walk you to your car. It is ok to ask for help and to put authorities on alert.

Remember, criminals are looking for vulnerabilities. The minute you let your guard down they will pounce. Pay attention and reduce the distractions so that you can get home safe and enjoy all the fun the holidays have to offer.

As always, be safe,

L.J. Follow me on Twitter: @CrimeDoc1213

#personalsafety #victimization #victim #crimeprevention #selfdefense #ljsamuel #deardiary

Note: I will be hosting a Self-Defense Workshop the end of January 2015. Stay tuned for details!


Stepansky, J. (2014, December 2). Woman with 3-month old child in chest carrier kicked in back by mugger in Bronx: NYPD. New York Daily News. Retrieved from