Tips for When You Are Being Held Up

I was held up at gunpoint last night as i was leaving my job at the doctors office. Yes it was very scary and no i am not hurt. I want to encourage everyone to listen to the police officers on the tv about guidelines for what do when this happens.


I did some of the things and wanted to relay them.

  • Scream make noise.

  • Have your keys in your hand before leaving the building. This way when I threw my purse I still had my keys which were for my car but also I could get back into work to safety.

  • Throw the pocketbook away from yourself and run the other way.

  • Run away - it is harder to shoot a moving target than something or someone who is standing still.

  • Get to a phone and call 911. Be calm as you can be on the phone. No I was not calm. I was sobbing and screaming some. My coworker was still outside.

  • The other thing they tell you to do is to remember what the perp is wearing. All I could see was a dark colored everything. I couldn't even see the whites of his eyes but my coworker and I are alive.

We thought on our feet.

By Sandy from Baltimore, MD

Editor's Note: So glad to hear you are alright Sandy. Here are some more tips from the Seattle Police Department's website.

Responding to a Confrontation:
  • If a robber grabs your bag, resist the impulse to play tug of war. If you hang on, chances are you will be knocked down, hit, or kicked and the robber will get your bag anyway.

  • Victims sometimes tell a robber they have no money. This technique may backfire. It is safer to give up a few dollars. Carry a little money in an accessible place for just this purpose. Keep it separate from other funds.

  • If someone demands your property and displays or implies in anyway that they have a weapon, hand the bag or wallet to them.


Be sure to check out your local police departments website, I am sure they have some tips as well.

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By Claudia -MD (Guest Post)
November 16, 20050 found this helpful

Yikes this is scary- I also live in Baltimore and hope I have the presence of mind to do what you did if I am ever faced with this situation. I am glad you and your co-worker are OK.

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November 16, 20050 found this helpful

Here are some tips if you get held up at home and you have an alarm system.

When at home, keep your alarm system armed. If someone breaks in while you are home you will be ready for this tip:


Learn what your duress code is and be able to enter it in the keypad if you are told to disarm your alarm. (depending on your service provider)

If you receive a call from your alarm service and are asked for your password or passcode, give them a code that has nothing to do with your correct code (your abort code) if you are asked for it again, give them the incorrect code again. For example, if your abort code is "fishsticks" give them "hamburger" or ANYTHING different. DON'T give them "fishstick" or "fish" or "stick". Better yet, HANG UP THE PHONE, before or during the call or immediately after giving them the wrong password. (depending on the situation you are in.) You can always say its a wrong number or that they hung up on you.


Learn how to operate your system correctly, have it serviced when needed and be prepared to call your alarm service provider if you are aware of a false alarm. This will save your local authorities from wasting their resources on a false alarm. You never know who you might be taking them away from that has a REAL emergency. :) And please, if you have a keyfob, please don't let the kids play with it or have access to it. (BIG cause for false alarms.)

Teach others that live with you how to operate the alarm system, and call your service provider to review your contact list phone numbers to make sure they are up to date.

I've been using an alarm system at home for years and I have never had any problems with it, because I took the time to become familiar and comfortable using it daily. It's nice to know that if I'm home or not, somebody is monitoring if my alarm gets tripped, and help will be on the way. Remember, an alarm system won't stop a hold up, but it may prevent one, and will get you help afterwards. Learn it and use it.

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November 17, 20050 found this helpful

Good job on your quick thinking! I live in Baltimore too, so this really hits home. This is the time of year when it gets busy and the potencial for this to happen with bad results is more common since we are so busy with thinking of the holiday. Since this happened, maybe your employer will hire a security guard.



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