Dealing with stalkers

I looked at the newest numbers from the National Center for Victims of Crimes and the stalking numbers are way out of hand. According to their report 1 in 12 women and 1 in 45 men will be stalked in their lifetime. Over 75% of the women and 64% of the men know their stalkers.

Now if those numbers weren’t bad enough; 81% of the women stalked by a current or past over are also physically assaulted by them during the stalking which lasts on average almost 2 years!

These numbers are alarming. Especially when you think about 1 out of 5 women were threatened or harmed by a weapon during the stalking. Odds are not in the favor of the victim even if they get a restraining order since these are OFTEN violated by the stalker.

Now don’t misunderstand, I am not saying don’t get a restraining order, you really need to be sure and get this on record. Just don’t think that just cause you filed and received a restraining order, that you are now safe from this person. That piece of paper alone just won’t do.

So here are some tips:
1. Learn what the stalking laws are for your area – go to your local police station and know the laws for your State. It also is a good time to get any literature or suggestions from the police about staying safe from a stalker that they may have.

2. File a restraining order – it alone works 20% of the time on average and it is good to get things on record.

3. Like mentioned above records, keep them- get a book and write down every time he/she harasses you. This includes emails, keep them. Maybe even get a phone recorder like this one digital audio phone or room recorder. Every time he/she calls, record it and if it is threatening turn it over to police.

4. Alert your friends and even the neighbors you are friendly with so they can help keep an eye out. (You should feel no embarrassment your not the idiot doing the stalking, you’re the victim).

5. Consider taking a martial arts course or maybe kick boxing – I say this for a few reasons. You need to try and not show fear to your stalker, it only feeds them. One of the easiest ways to be confident is to KNOW you are able to protect yourself should your stalker decide to get physical. Don’t look for trouble from them just don’t show fear even if you have to fake it.

6. Also consider getting yourself some self defense weapons that you keep with you and scattered around your house in case you need them in an emergency (exercise good judgment with this if children are present).

7. Setting up surveillance cameras around your house or the addition of an alarm can also help secure your home from your stalker. Getting them caught red handed in the act or on surveillance video can be a powerful tool for the police to pursue this person with more zeal.

This is a big subject and these are just a few of the things you should do. More than anything keep and use your head!

Stay Safe!

Road rage scares

I got an email yesterday from a reader we will call Jane. Jane said she tries to drive nice but some of the people who have driven with her said she is very aggressive. With that said Jane also has been the victim in a road rage incident. She didn’t cut him off /wink just kidding, she said she didn’t cut this guy off but in his mind she did so he got real crazy tailgating, honking, flashing his lights, flipping the bird and keep driving next to her pretending he was going to sideswipe her car. He then followed Jane to a red light and got out and came to the car kicking and punching it trying to get to her.

Jane said she was stuck in the middle of about a dozen cars at the light some in front, behind and on the side in other lanes. Not ONE person got out and helped her at all. Some were beeping their horns but no one got out to help. Jane said she was petrified and if the light hadn’t changed he might have done a lot more damage to her car and maybe even her.

Now as I said Monday if you drive nice generally you shouldn’t need to worry about having someone misunderstand your intentions, as what happened to Jane. Avoid engaging other drivers, even if they have done something to make you angry, just let it go it isn’t worth it I promise you. Safely try to put as much distance between you and the other driver as possible if you can do it safely. Also, avoid eye contact and never pull off the road to confront another driver; remember the videos Monday? Call the police and report the car’s license plate number, color and type. If you get a good look at the driver (hopefully only through the mirror, remember avoid eye contact if you can), then be sure to give a description to the police as well.

If you are being chased, let the 911 operator know you need help right away and give them your location. If an officer is nearby he can intervene or they can instruct you on how to proceed. Just be sure to lock your doors, stay in the car and get the police as much info as possible in order to get this idiot taken care of.

Listen I would love to say jump out and kick some behind but that would be reckless, avoidance is ALWAYS the best weapon. Keep your doors locked, get the police on the phone and stay in the vehicle and follow the instructions from the police.

Make it your new policy. No tailgating, for pete’s sake use turn signals I swear it isn’t too much work, don’t wait til the last minute to cut over in front of a turn lane or one ending. You know all the things that annoy you when done to you! Drive nice and you should never have to worry about some nut thinking you cut him off. Another benefit about driving nice, your odds of getting in an at fault accident drops as well, think about it. The life you save may be my own :)

The Judge
Stun Guns, Pepper Sprays
Nanny Cams

They’re stealing what?

In one of the stupid crook stories I told you about a man who got fried trying to steal copper in the form of a live wire at a power substation. Sadly though this isn’t the only target for these drug addicted fiends.

The target I am referring to is your AC unit outside of your home. What these guys do to get quick cash for drugs is break into AC units outside of homes which can occur even if you are home if they catch you while you are sleeping. Once they break into the unit they steal the copper coils or basically a good portion of the guts of your AC unit!

At this point your AC unit is now worthless and you are shelling out the deductible. If during the summer it’ll cost you even more in money and sweating!

The worst part is that this isn’t a crime that generally draws the attention of the media so it may be happening in your area without you even knowing. A good way to find out is check with your local police department or use their website , if they have one. If there is a neighborhood watch for your area ask them to see if this is going on around you so you can try some prevention techniques.

As I mentioned talking to your local police department or neighborhood watch is the best place to get started. Next you need to make your AC unit an undesirable target. They sell or if you are handy you can make, an enclosure (with proper ventilation) that you can lock.

There are lower cost solutions like adding motion activated lights on the side of the house your AC unit is on and you can get these at any department or hardware store. We also sell an alarm called the Voice alert. You would put the sensor on the side of the house and the base inside somewhere that you can hear it. When motion is activated it will tell play the message you set like “someone on the side of the house” etc.

If you plan on being away for a while ask your neighbors to help keep an eye open. If you are installing an AC unit to an existing home think about placing it back behind your fence. Any barriers you can place between the junkie and your AC unit will help increase the chance they will move on to an easier target.

Time to start neutering!

A while back I wrote about some fraud alerts that had recently found. One from the FBI was about email death threats were they try and exhort money from the victims and that they might have a bunch of info but were from outside the US. The FBI suggested to just ignore it.

Now I mentioned that scam could easily move over to phone calls and it just so happens it did but with a scary twist. Earlier this month, 3 men one of whom, Olvin Velasquez, is under arrest, decided to perpetrate this crime on a local Austin family.

According to police, Olvin Velasquez and two other men (I use this term loosely) over the course of five days, repeatedly phoned an Austin woman and threatened to kill her or someone in her family if she didn’t pay tens of thousands of dollars. Now the twist I mentioned, they did these calls from a pay phone right in Austin! Reportedly they were actually following her and lived close by. Thankfully she was smart enough to report this to the police who traced it back to Velasquez who is a Honduran national here in Texas.

Police also said when the victim asked them why they were doing this to her they replied “This is how we make our living”. It has also been reported that this victim was the 7th one so they have done this 6 times before and it hasn’t been reported by anyone due to fear.

Bear this in mind, if you get an email making threats just report it but don’t reply, odds are extremely good they aren’t even in the US (they would most likely call to scare you more than email would).

BUT if you get a phone call like this, take it very serious because as this story shows, they might be right in your neighborhood. Immediately report it to the FBI so they can get things setup to trace and they will tell you what you need to do from there. This is a must, some law enforcement, either Federal or local needs to be involved so get these people off our streets.

/rant on

Real quick I need to tell you a story that hopefully will outrage you enough to get involved in any way you can. The problem, we are not properly protecting children who cannot protect themselves.

What I am referring to is a case here in Texas (but this issue is every place) where a thing named Melody Whatley and its mate Michael Denson are accused of child endangerment. Melody has already plead guilty and has been sentenced to one year and Denson’s trail is next. Sickening!

First I’ll give you some background on this thing called Melody. It has been in trouble with child protective services previously because two of its children, one of whom died, tested positive for marijuana at their birth. The one who died did so when this thing rolled over and smothered it to death while it was sleeping next to the poor baby.

In 2005 it was in trouble for violating its probation from a felony drug possession charge so it had to serve 9 months in jail. Somehow still having possession of the 3 babies that are still alive this thing gets in trouble once again because they tested all three of the kids and they came back positive for methamphetamines (ages 1, 2 and 3).

Now if all this wasn’t bad enough this thing will likely get her kids back once again when she gets out in a year!! What in the hell do you need to do to loose custody of your kids? How many screw ups should one get? Why do we not do more for our children?

I am not a parent but I am still outraged that this could take place and have started contacting local legislators to express my disgust. ANYONE who would do drugs in front of their children no longer deserves the privilege of raising them. Drug use is no excuse! These kids didn’t ask to be brought into this world and anyone who would put drugs before their children (like doing drugs while pregnant) needs to loose their kids and be sterilized! This thing in this story and its mate should both be neutered so they can never harm any other children.

Sad part is this story happens all over the US over and over again and has for quite some time. It is our responsibility as adults to protect those that cannot protect themselves… our little ones.

/rant off

The Judge