Self Defense Tips by Moshe Katz
Your personal safety is very important. No matter what style of martial arts you train in, or even if you do not train at all, on this page you will find many useful self defense tips. I incorporate these tips as part of our krav maga program.
The most common mistake people make begins when they sign up for self defense lessons.
First they often confuse martial arts for self defense; the two overlap but are certainly not the same. Many arts emphasize other aspects of training far more than street self defense. i.e. spirituality, self awareness, sports, discipline, fitness etc. If you are looking for a self defense program make that part of your search for an appropriate school.
Self defense schools are often hard to find since they are less commercial. Most people are looking for fun and fitness, not the serious training involved in life and death situations.
The next most common mistake people make is thinking that their training is only physical. Truth is the attack begins long before the attack begins. Bruce Lee said you need to attack his preparation. Arthur Cohen says you begin long before than; you have to detect the signs based on how he walks, how he is dressed. In Israel these skills are honed in the army and on the street. Certain kinds of clothing are more likely to conceal a bomb or an explosive belt. My nephew was serving with the paratroopers in the Jewish city of Hebron. They spotted a man pacing back and forth nervously, they suspected he might be planning an attack, and jumped him. He was concealing a large knife. They successfully disarmed and apprehended him.
Most self defense instructors ignore your most powerful weapon; your mind. Although sitting in a class and discussing psychology is clearly not as much fun as training in gun disarms or acting out self defense scenarios, I venture to say that if you don't properly train your mind all or most of your self defense training will prove useless on the street. (or in the office or rest room or plane or car or elevator or escalator etc.) A thorough self defense course includes training in the way the mind works; the mind of the intended victim (you) and the mind of the aggressor. Both must be understood for proper self defense.
"Street" situations must be taken into account, i.e. environmental factors. Is it a cold climate? Will they be wearing heavy clothing that will make your punches to the body ineffective? Is it warm climate or the beach where there will be no garment to grab to do your judo throws?
Self defense includes weapons.
Do you want to carry a weapon? Are you willing to train in the use of that weapon and become proficient? Will you be able to draw the weapon in time to make it useful? These are all questions you need to consider.
Can you learn self defense from a camel?
Self Defense Tips for Men, Women, and Children
For several years I was employed by the Israeli Ministry of Education as a Krav Maga safety expert. My job was to travel around the country meeting with and teaching students grades one through twelve. Our sessions were divided into two parts; hands on self defense, and personal safety measures appropriate for each age group.
The following material is the personal safety portion; a result of those years of experience. It includes my own research, advice from experts and the knowledge I gained from the experience of the students themselves.
A Definition of Survival
"Survival" and "Fighting" sometimes go together and sometimes are direct opposites. Sometimes in order to survive you must fight and fight hard, other times fighting is the worse choice of action and if fact can get you killed. Avoidance or running away, if possible, is better methods of survival than fighting or confrontation. Let's look at a few stories.
Outside a martial arts school, many years ago, someone had tied a nervous volatile donkey. As a student walked up to the school, the donkey kicked him and the broke his leg. Shortly afterwards another student came along, this student was more advanced and was quicker with his reactions. Once again the donkey attacked. The student used a martial arts evasive technique and managed to partially avoid the direct hit. Nonetheless he was kicked and suffered a bad bruise and a twisted ankle. Along came another student, this one much more advanced and accomplished. Once again the donkey attacked but this student managed to avoid the attack completely. Soon the students saw the Master instructor approaching. The question I know ask my students is what to do you think the Master did?
The answers I usually get are as follows: He killed the donkey with a single blow, he knocked the donkey unconscious, he broke the donkey's leg. More moderate students answer; he let the donkey go free, or, he calmed down the donkey.
The first answers, which are most common, miss the point of survival completely. They view martial arts and survival as synonymous with fighting, which is grave error. They reason that since the teacher is a great master he should be able to subdue a powerful beast, stronger than us humans, with force. When I tell the students that this is not the correct answer they then offer more clever answers like, "He untied the donkey and let him free." Good try but still wrong. The answer is so simple; the Master saw the violent donkey and went around the other way, completely avoiding the dangerous animal. That is an example of survival which has nothing to do with fighting. In fact it is all about not fighting. Don't get me wrong; learning how to fight and defend yourself if vitally important in my opinion, but fighting is always a last resort when all other options have been exhausted. Avoidance, on the other hand, is the first option.
Another story: The Tragic ending of a Great Boxer.
There was once a great boxer. He was an immigrant to the USA. He was born into poverty but through hard work and determination he rose to the top of his profession; boxing. After a very successful ring career he opened a school, this too was successful. One day a nasty driver smashed into his car, which was parked just outside the school. The boxer, who was teaching a class at the time, saw this through the window and came running outside, still in his boxing shorts and gloves, to confront the driver. The driver cursed him and drove off. The boxing expert would not let the matter go so easily. Being a great physical condition he ran after the car and caught up with it at the next traffic light. The car stopped at the red light and the boxer demanded the driver open his window to "discuss" the matter. The driver refused. The boxer than smashed the window with a single punch. At this point the driver, who turned out to be a wanted criminal, pulled out a pistol and shot the boxer. The boxer died on the spot.
Was he a great fighter? No question, he was. Could he beat just about any opponent in the ring? Yes, indeed. Did this serve him well on the street in a real situation? No, it did not. Had he just let it go, cooled down and called his car insurance agent he would still be alive. Your ego is not worth dying for. In Israel we have a saying, "On the street, don't be right, be WISE".
There is a valuable lesson here for all of us. Don't go looking for trouble. This was not a self-defense situation. It could have been avoided.
Another Story: Two Stubborn Drivers.
The drivers on the way home from work. One passes the other. The one who is passed is annoyed and insulted. He decided to pursue the "passer". He corners him in a parking lot. They argue. One pulls out a knife. One man ends the day in prison, the other in the morgue. Cause of Death: Ego. Appropriate self defense measure: Simply let go, listen to a happy song and get on with your life.
One More Story
And let me tell one more story, this one imaginary. Imagine two boxers in the ring. They are both highly paid and are about to compete for the championship title. One decides that the other looks a bit scary and figures he should make a run for it. He shouts, "Wow! Look at that pretty girl!" the other boxer turns to look and when he turns back to face his opponent, he sees his opponent heading for the exit, on his way to safety.
Clearly this is in appropriate behavior. Why? Because in a competitive match one should compete and not run away. On the street, however, this would be a very acceptable approach. The "run away guy" managed to avoid a fight and he arrived home safely. He survived, and that is all that counts. The street is not an arena for sporting competition. A professional match is no place fro a run away tactic. Clearly they are very different.
I know I said just one more story but there is another way I like to tell the students.
This is a true story and took place on the streets of New York City. An old woman was attacked by a mugger, he wanted her purse. Being a Streetwise Woman and living in New York City her whole life she was not about to become a victim. She hit him over the head with her umbrella. As he was reeling from that shock she poked him in the chest and continued to smack him around some more. He walked away with nothing but aches and pains plus some humiliation.
Now if you were a betting man and I said, 'OK, in this corner we have granny, aged 79, weighing in at 90 pounds. In the other corner we have this young fellow, aged 24, weighing in at 179 pounds.' Who would you put your money on? Pretty obvious. But the street is not a tournament and the rules are different. With her street savvy and clever use of her umbrella, coupled with the element of surprise, old Granny won the day! The street and the ring are two different stories. Survival and fighting are too different games.
Now let's get to some Tips;
Always Examine your Surroundings
Be aware of dark areas; be aware of areas from which an attacker can suddenly emerge. Prepare yourself by looking for potential paths of escape, should you need one. Look for obstacles that may interfere with your exit. Be aware of where you are; near a bus, a car, a train? How long will it take you to get to safety? Can you run that far? Is your level of physical fitness high enough to make that run? As much as possible eliminate doubt and uncertainty. Check to see if there are security guards present.
All this may sound very complicated but in actuality, once it becomes second nature, it only takes a few minutes or even seconds to assess the environment.
Keep your Body Prepared to Act
Hands should be free, not overloaded with bags. Dress comfortably.
If you are at a fancy wedding or business meeting you may have no choice but to wear shoes that are impractical for running. However if you are on your way home from work or just going shopping, it pays to wear something comfortable that you can run in or even fight in. You do not want to be wearing high heels while running away from a mugger or rapist, you want sneakers or some sort of running shoes. Beware of slippery shoes, not only are them impractical for self defense but they can also lead to accidents.
Avoid a Victim Mentality and Appearance
Use your body language to project self-confidence. Dress and look like you are ready for whatever may come your way. The Israeli security forces found a pamphlet published in Arabic, it was basically a 'how to' guide for potential kidnappers and hijackers. The pamphlet discussed how to spot an appropriate victim; distracted, meek looking, thin with lack of muscular definition, pale, rounded shoulders, fear in the eyes and so forth. The message is clear; the attackers take a good look at a person before he chooses a victim. Make sure you have looks that can kill.
Don't Challenge Anyone, Allow Them an Honorable Way Out
Many fights could be avoided with a little common sense. Thugs are looking for easy victims, so act confidently, but don't be arrogant. They too have their pride, so don't insult or taunt them. Don't challenge them or made crude remarks. Often a person is ready to back down but a "challenge" will make that impossible for them. Their "honor" will lead to a fight that no body really wanted. Always give the aggressor an honorable way out. Don't leave them no option but to fight. We learn this from the laws of war in the Bible. We are taught that when you attack a city you can come from three sides but you must leave the fourth side open; give them a chance to withdraw peacefully without bloodshed.
Perhaps call out for non existent friends, make him believe you are not alone.
Act Crazy or Disgusting
People are turned off by weirdos, perhaps they even fear that you might just do something insane. Disorient him, surprise him. Shidoshi Frank W. Dux, on whom the movie "Blood Sport" starring Jean Claude Van Damme is based, once told us during a lesson, "Grab one guy and bite his ear off, the rest of the gang will think you crazy and just run off."
Back to the Wall
If you are walking along a wall or in a crowded room, it pays to stand with your back to the wall. This way you eliminate the possibility of anyone attacking you from behind (or in the case of walking, from the side). Reduce the odds of being attacked by developing good habits.
Although it is fun to have headphones on and tune out the world around you while listening to your favorite music, sometimes this can be a problem. If you are walking around like this you are not only totally oblivious to what is going on around you including the presence of potential assailants, you are also making it obvious that you are unaware and unprepared. Be careful and alert when using these musical devices.
Be careful where you place your wallet. It is much easier to pick pocket a wallet which is in the back pocket than one that is in the front pocket. Some people foolishly leave their wallets in the back pocket of their back-packs, which is the easiest place to steal from. Some can take it out without you feeling a thing, you will not know you have been robbed until you get home and find your valuables missing.
Some locations are more prone to certain types of crimes than others. Outside of airports or hotels, or other tourist places are known for high pick pocketing rates. Outside of ATM's are known for holdups. Be alert. Also be careful of anyone trying to help you get your money out of the machine. There are many scams used by people eager to take your ATM money.
Examine your surroundings for potential weapons such as hair-spray, a cup of hot tea, scissors, paper weights, umbrella, pencil, keys, water bottles even clothing can be used.
Plan Ahead, Be Prepared
Think 'What could I do if I were attacked here in this situation? Whom can I turn to, what can be done?' Have a prepared game plan.
Diffuse the Situation
If the attacker 'interviews' you before the attack, act confident but try to avoid a physical confrontation if possible. Understand the art of
If You are Going To Fight, Use Non-Assuming Stance
Use unconventional stances that will surprise and catch your assailant off guard. First pretend you have no intention of fighting. Try to distract him.
AVOIDANCEAvoid hitch-hiking – Why do people hitch hike? To save time and money. Think of all the time and money rape victims spend trying to erase and overcome the trauma of rape. Is it worth taking a risk to save a few dollars or a short amount of time?
Beware of date rape – Statistics show that most people know their rapist and allowed them to get close. Remember that any "friend" can become a sexual predator very quickly.
Be selective about parties and friends
Teenagers in particular are drawn to parties where rape is a distinct possibility. The combination of lots of alcohol, possible drugs, adolescents, provocative outfits and behavior, intoxicating music and no parental supervision is a formula for disaster. Young men often do not know the meaning of the word 'no' and interpret it as "I need to be a little more aggressive". Women must learn how to say 'No' in a way that is not subject to interpretation. Many rapists are convinced it was 'consensual' simply because the girl agreed to dance or hang out with him.
If you don't want anything to happen – make sure you are never alone. You came to have fun, fine, stay with a group of friends, there is strength in numbers.
Be careful whom you get a ride home with. Many girls who agree to a ride home end up as rape victims. Arrange your ride ahead of time with someone you trust, someone who has not been drinking. Pay for a cab if you must, it is well worth the investment.
Know your Surroundings – This rule applies everywhere. If you are at a party, in the park, in a dorm building; know the quickest way out.
Have your cell phone handy and fully charged
Don't let the rapist con his way into your house
Rapist pose as repairmen. If someone claims they are from some organization, ask for a name and call up the organization. If they are not legitimate, odds are they will be gone before you even finished dialing the number. The same applies to people claiming they represent charities, call the organization first and ask if their people are on a collection drive I this part of town. All it takes is one phone call. Your safety is worth it.
Claims of a car accident
If a person comes to the door claiming he was involved in a car accident and his buddy is still in the car and they don't have a phone, don't let the guy in. Instead ask for the car's location and say you will call for emergency help at once.
There is no profile of victims or rapists. Women from age three to eighty have been victimized. Women of all types have been victims, wearing all types of clothing, and in all types of situations. The rapists have included total strangers, friends, family, distinguished members of the community and leaders. MEN TOO CAN BE VICTIMS. Men have been raped in the army and in prisons, amongst other places. Women can also be rapists; both against men and against other women.
Your home is supposed to be your castle, your safe zone; let's do everything we can to keep it that way.
Information Over the Phone or in Person
If a child is home alone, he or she should be trained not to reveal the fact that they are alone. On the phone or at the door the child should pretend that a parent is home but cannot come to the door or phone at the moment. This applies even to people the child knows. If you do not know the caller do not reveal any information at all. He or she may be calling to check out the situation, gather information and see if this is a good home to rob.
If someone approaches a child on the street and starts up a conversation, the child should politely avoid this person and be careful not to reveal any information. The child should never reveal where they live, what bus they take to school. Do not give them any way to track you down. Avoid dangerous situations.
How might 'harmless' information turn very harmful? Here is an example. A friendly stranger strikes up a conversation with a child. 'So what do you like most about school? Oh, you like geography, that's great, I like it too. What grade are you in?' Later on this individual can call up the parents claiming to be a substitute teacher. He knows the child's grade and interests and can come across sounding legitimate. He might tell the parents about some special program which perfectly suits the child's interest. When he shows up at the door the child recognizes him as "a man she saw at school". We all know how badly this can end. Bottom line – Children should be trained not to give away any information to strangers.
Do Not Open the Door
This applies to children and adults. Do not let anyone con their way into your home, your safety zone. Phony deliveries, guys pretending to work for Con Ed, building 'inspectors' or guys who just need to 'use the phone'; you must always verify who they are. Ask for ID numbers and names. If they are legit they will understand, if they are not – the will scram.
Strangers Collecting Donations
Children should not open the door for anyone unknown, period. Even adults should be careful. Anyone can claim to be collecting for a charitable organization. You can through the peep hole and ask for identifying documents or, ask them to mail you a request.
In Israel a scam was uncovered by a woman who asked the correct questions and followed these safety precautions. Two teenagers were pretending to collect money for the Israeli Cancer Society. They were really collecting for themselves. They knock on the door of a woman who is a regular contributor and knows how often they come. She suspects something, even though the boys have all the correct documentations and the official receipt book of the organization. She calls the Cancer Society. They claim no knowledge of these boys and they are not currently collecting. The police arrive. The boys are arrested, as is the 'unemployed' father of one of them. He is a computer expert and has totally copied all the stationary and logos of the Cancer Society. They had already collected tens of thousands of dollars. Although no violence was involved in this particular case it is an example of how thousands of people were duped over a long period of time. None of them suspected the boys. The intelligent and strategic reaction of one woman brought the criminal activity to an end. If you have a doubt about the "the representative of the electric company' or telephone company- call the company directly and ask if they sent someone. Don't be fooled by official looking papers or uniforms. They are very easy to produce.
Do Not Buzz People in with Intercom unless they are fully know to you. Do not do a favor for someone you do not know.
Even with someone you know
If you are a child check with your parents to verify that this person should be allowed in when they are away. Many friends of family and relatives have committed rape.
Do Not Accept Unexpected Packages
Do not open packages from unknown sources. Always check the return address.
When Away on Vacation
Do not leave message on answering machine saying you will be away. Arrange to have paper delivery stopped; uncollected papers outside your home indicate you are away for a long time.
More safety tips for home survival.
OUTSIDE THE HOME
Refuse Help from Strangers
In this world there are some people who are genuinely good and want to help. They will see someone struggling with a heavy load and offer to help you, usually it is safer and wiser to say no. If you are new in a neighborhood, a small friendly community, it might be OK to accept help form a stranger who lives there. On the other hand, if you are in a busy train station and a stranger walks up to you and offers to carry your bags, it is wiser to refuse; he may be intending to carry your bags all the way home, to his home.
Similarly there are people who hang around parking lots of shopping centers waiting for women and offering to help them with their groceries. Sometimes they just want to steal your groceries, other times they want to get into your car and harm you or steal your car. In parking lots or train stations it is best to refuse help and REFUSE IT FIRMLY.
For more on this topic I highly recommend "The Gift of Fear" by Gavin De Becker.
Don't Trust Strangers
Do not believe stories, do not trust strangers in any way, remain alert. Do not give out any personal information or details as to where you are traveling. A friendly chat can be an assailant's way of gathering information.
Do Not Help Strangers Actively
Do not go along with them to help them find a 'lost puppy' or search for a contact lenses. Many children have fallen to such tricks and paid dearly. Do not get into stranger's cars. It they are asking for directions, help them from a distance, do not get into their car and do not lean into their car door or window. Perhaps they are trying to distract you while a partner pick pockets you, or worse. Remain alert.
Beware of Kids being used as decoys by adults
Who is afraid of a kid? What harm can come by helping a kid find a lost puppy? He or she may be part of a scam. As soon as you walk into the park to find that puppy you might find a violent mugger instead. Never follow a child into an unknown zone.
On the subject of parking lots; they could be dangerous. Try to park close to the place you will be going to and coming from. Limit the amount of time you will be alone. When you are approaching you car keep your eyes open for any suspicious looking people who might be "hanging around." Have your car keys ready, do not be caught fumbling for your keys in a panic.
Before entering your car, look inside. Is there someone hiding in your back seat? Is the door open when you remember locking it? Does the car look like someone has been tampering with it? Try to park in a well lit space, preferably near other cars.
While Walking or Jogging
These are great activities for your health, unless you get mugged while doing so. Think about where you are going. Are you familiar with the route? Have you been there before? Are there any potential dangers you can think of? Is it a deserted area or is there some way to call for help? What time of day or night is it? Is the area well lit?
These are all questions you should think about before choosing your running route. Obviously you should avoid places known to be risky. Many women have been raped and murdered when running alone at night. Often there are three mistakes: A. Being alone, B. Dark places, C. Listening to walkman or ipod or Discman.
Travel in Pairs
While walking or jogging it is safer to travel in pairs. If you are in your own neighborhood, and it is a very safe neighborhood, and you are jogging in broad day light through a populated area, chances are you should be OK. In general attackers are less likely to attack if you are not alone.
TRAVEL; TRAINS, PLANES, BUSES, CARS
Do Not Hitch-hike
In Israel, bus drivers must allow you on the bus even if don't have any money on you. Promise to pay later but do not be left on the road without a way to get home. If the driver refuses; ask for his name and number, he will be tried and fined.
Avoid Public Rest rooms when Possible
When absolutely necessary to sue them, be on your guard and be as quick as possible. Don’t' totally believe in the safety of a locked door. (see "Be Streetwise" by Arthur Cohen)
Train or Bus StationDon't hang around. Leave with crowd.
If you are staying in a hotel, click on
When you are paying, be careful not to flash large bills. Do not leave your purse or wallet on the counter while you are paying, I have actually seen people do this. Personally I take the money out before I get to the cashier and I only take out the approximate amount that I need. Thus no one ever sees me taking out my wallet. Do not show expensive jewelry in a place where it will attack the wrong kind of attention.
Talking on the Phone in Public Places
Minimize conversations, be alert, do not appear distracted. Do not lend your phone to others; make a call for them if absolutely necessary.
Pretend You Are a Local
If you are walking through an area you are not familiar with, or even if you are totally lost, try to give the impression that you know exactly where you are; you know where you are going and you are not the least bit concerned. If you need to stop and look at street signs or at a map, try to do it in a way that does not show that you are totally lost, show no fear. I try to walk through unfamiliar areas with confident strides as if to say, "Yeah, this is my neighborhood!"
Don't Leave Alone
When leaving work or a party late at night, don't be the last one to leave, it is better to leave with a group and stay together.
Is Someone Following You?
This may seem obvious but some people are totally unaware. Pay attention to what is going on around you and behind you. Is someone always behind you? Perhaps he is following you and looking for an opportunity to make his move. Be alert, avoid trouble.
Do not leave your bag or valuables on the seat next to you, someone can reach in and take it. We have a saying in Israel, "If you open a window for a thief, he will come in through it." Always leave some space between your car and the car in front of you; you may need this space to maneuver if someone is trying to hold you up.
Weapons – React Quickly
If someone raises or points a weapon at you and you believe they are about to use it, the best advice is to react as quickly as possible. This is not an easy situation to be in. Either run away, if you can, or strike at them as quickly as possible. Try to grab the knife hand, move to avoid the weapon, throw something at them, but react!
Do Not Use Complicated Techniques
Remember this is not a Steven Seagal movie and you are probably not a 7th degree black belt master. No matter how much you now, or think you know, it is best to stick to simple proven techniques that you have done many times and feel confident with. The effectiveness of the technique comes from your confidence and the way you apply it. That confidence comes from practicing the technique many times.
No one, in particular children, should be handling your gun. Only licensed practitioners should be handling weapons. Toy guns can also be problematic. Fire crackers or cap guns can cause alarm and panic; police may think it is a terrorist attack. Don't play jokes with toy guns. Training guns should be designed in a way that makes it clear they are only replicas and not the real thing.
Do not wear costumes or carry to guns that look like the real thing. Dressing up as a terrorist can get you in real trouble.
Always Make a Commotion
Fight back, shout, use foul abusive language you would not ordinarily use, struggle, show you are not a victim. Repeat to yourself that you are not a victim. Always believe that you will make it home OK.
Do Not Touch Suspicious Objects, Notify Security Personnel
In Israel we are trained from a young age never to pick up something suspicious; even a button, a match box, a pen; anything can be a bomb.
Be careful what kind of parties you are going to. Know who is organizing it and who is in charge. What kind of people attend this party. Adults should be present. Don’t' worry, adults don't always ruin the party, in fact; they might even save your life.
Beware of Young Drivers
Too many young people have died coming home late at night from parties. Make sure the driver is experienced and competent. Don’t' drink and drive, not even one drink!
Do Not Give in to Peer Pressure
Be strong enough to say NO loud and clear. Be a leader, not a follower.Alcohol weakens your good judgment and timing. It also ruins the judgment of others; beware of people who have been drinking too much.
Do not wear impractical clothing, use common sense.
Behavior in a Crowded Public Place
• Stay close to parents Hold hands to avoid being accidentally separated by other people.
• If separated – Remain for a short while where you were last together. This is where your parents will come looking for you. If lost – contact guard or security personnel, they will protect you and announce your name over the loud speaker.
• Don't ask strangers (other than uniformed security personnel) for help; do not go with strangers offering to help.
• Do not follow your curiosity; do not touch "interesting looking objects you happen to come across.
• Do not follow your curiosity to dark secluded places.
"He is Not My Daddy"
If someone is trying to abduct you, make it clear to all that his is not a family dispute but a kidnapping. Shout, "He is not my Dad"
•Escape – Know your surroundings, use knowledge of surroundings and your size to your advantage. Every size has its advantage; a cat is bigger than a mouse but once that mouse finds its mouse hole, the cat cannot enter and the mouse is home free. Once a man was chasing a child in a play ground. The child played there every day and knew the place well. He quickly ran to a tiny hole at he bottom of the fence. The adult could not squeeze in and the escaped. He used his knowledge of the park together with his small size and his wits to save himself.
• Don't Panic – From a young age train children not to panic. Panic leads to either temporary paralysis or not being able to do anything, or to over reaction, and overreaction is a bad strategy in any game.
SELF DEFENSE TECHNIQUES
An excellent tool for self defense is the Kobutan self defense key chain.
Car Safetly Tips
My wife was in Sunnyside at 4:30pm Monday 11/17 on 43rd and Queens Blvd. She had just picked up my younger son Derin from his sitter and was on her way to get Aydin. As she waited at the light to make a left at Queens Blvd, she was approached by an African American man on the far side of her car The man appeared panicked as his said her car's right front wheel was smoking and she better have it looked at. My wife decided to drive on since she did not smell or see any smoke. She made a left onto Queens Blvd. and as traffic would have it made it half way to the next light at 44th St. Again she was approached by another African American man wearing a NYPD tee-shirt and again told that her car was smoking like crazy on the car's right front wheel. My thankfully continued on and pulled over 4 blocks down in a gas station to take a look. There was nothing wrong with the car at all.
When I got home from SLT, we called the police who stated there was little they could do at that point. We wished to notify them simply that this type of behavior was going on in hopes that they might be on the lookout for these guys. The cops said they were not surprised at my wife's story and says it happens all the time, and when people get out of their cars, the men take off with their cars.
They also shared a new twist to carjacking. They said that when people are shopping, the would be car thiefs are placing stickers on the back windows of cars. When the unsuspecting shopper returns, they will either get in their car and start it and then try to remove the sticker or try to take the sticker off the car the carjackers come and overpower the unsuspecting victim. Police advise to drive away to a secure area after either type of incident like this before inspecting your car or removing a sticker.
Have a good night,