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Got (almost) Robbed


kriswillems

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This evening I wanted to do so sports so I went out for a bicycle ride.

I always take my wallet with credit cards, bank cards, drivers license and identity card with me.

I don't know why, but I had a strange feeling today, so for the first time I decided only to take money and 1 bankcard with me. I had a watch on.

When I came back it was already dark. A motorcycle tried to stop me, but it didn't stop. The area was deserted, there were no houses. He asked for my money. I said: "I have no money" (in Thai). I could keep him busy for a while by giving 2 times a 20 Baht bill. He acted several times as he would pull a gun and even counted down for the moment he would shoot. But I think he didn't have a gun. After that he tried to "ask" for my watch. I said I didn't want to give it. I could keep him busy a bit longer by trying to stop the cars that were passing (all while I was riding bicycle). Finally we passed a big gass station and I entered there. He got bored or scared and went away.

I had 2000B with me. He got 40 baht.

The owner of the gas station called the police. The police brought me home (about 15 kms down the road).

I live in Thailand for 1 year now. This is the second time I got robbed.

Do you have tips how you can protect yourself without violating the law and without making the situation more dangerous?

Where can I buy these things?

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You DID get robbed, not almost - they stole 40Baht from you.

I always carry a throw away wallet (and I don't wear a watch). If they want my wallet, they get the throw away one. Fake or out of date/cancelled cards and a few small notes. I never had caried a wallet, so keep money either in a money belt (for real money) or squashed down in my jeans pocket. Wife told me a long time ago, never to wear your gold or carry anything that is not needed - then if you get robbed you losse very little. I have a cheap Buddha pendant that I wear day to day, the gold is for special occasions only.

Having said that I have never been mugged - have been pick-pocketed a few times (though in the UK and Phillipines, never in Thailand!). I rarely go placed on my own either - I don't ride a push bike - I am usually goin to 7-11 if I am, and only take enough to buy what I'm after.

Anything you want to take against someone is likely to cause you to get shot - either by the muggers or the police - so don't. Only thing that you can take to help with safety is some other people, friends or family.

If you have to ride a bike, is there not a club you can join to ride in groups?

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This evening I wanted to do so sports so I went out for a bicycle ride.

I always take my wallet with credit cards, bank cards, drivers license and identity card with me.

I don't know why, but I had a strange feeling today, so for the first time I decided only to take money and 1 bankcard with me. I had a watch on.

When I came back it was already dark. A motorcycle tried to stop me, but it didn't stop. The area was deserted, there were no houses. He asked for my money. I said: "I have no money" (in Thai). I could keep him busy for a while by giving 2 times a 20 Baht bill. He acted several times as he would pull a gun and even counted down for the moment he would shoot. But I think he didn't have a gun. After that he tried to "ask" for my watch. I said I didn't want to give it. I could keep him busy a bit longer by trying to stop the cars that were passing (all while I was riding bicycle). Finally we passed a big gass station and I entered there. He got bored or scared and went away.

I had 2000B with me. He got 40 baht.

The owner of the gas station called the police. The police brought me home (about 15 kms down the road).

I live in Thailand for 1 year now. This is the second time I got robbed.

Do you have tips how you can protect yourself without violating the law and without making the situation more dangerous?

Where can I buy these things?

There is no way to prevent it with 100% certainty, but the best thing to do is to avoid dangerous areas, or in this case deserted areas where there are no witnesses and no easy escape. Also, don't carry all of your credit cards, bank cards, IDs, and lots of cash with you when they are not needed.

Some people keep a small amount of cash in one pocket, and any other valuables in a different, more hidden pocket if they need to carry them. That way they can give the small amount of money if robbed, and it will be convincing that it is all they are carrying. It sounds like you might have done this.

Stay safe.

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Do you have tips how you can protect yourself without violating the law and without making the situation more dangerous?

Where can I buy these things?

Amongst other things, you might like to consider any of the the following items:

A long heavy torch

Pepper Spray

Telescopic Baton

Leather Billy

Electric Shock Baton

Flapper

Sap Gloves

Also consider improvisation; who'd want to be hit with a large heavy pestle?

When I'm at the in-laws I frequently carry at least a couple of the above. All are readily available (bottom two less common), at most night markets i.e Patpong.

Edited by ClaytonSeymour
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Thanks a lot! I think the trick with the fake wallet and money belt is excellent!

Pepperspray might be good, but I am not sure it really works. If it doesn't work as it should be I might have a very serious problem.

Electrical zappers and other weapons can be used more than once, so also on myself. I am afraid to use these.

Is it allowed to carry these weapons with you in Thailand?

I just pulled bills out of my trousers. He was unlucky that I pulled 20 baht bills out and not 1000 baht bills. I was riding bicycle and absolutely didn't want to stop, so I didn't look at the bills before giving them to him. I tried to gain to time, hoping I would pass a house or shop, so I only gave one bill at a time.

Edited by kriswillems
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Pepperspray might be good, but I am not sure it really works. If it doesn't work as it should be I might have a very serious problem.

It works; in a controlled experiment I tried a very small shot on myself. It's also useful if you're attacked by dogs, as is the telescopic baton; if you walk around villages at night, this is the situation where you're most likely to end up using them, as I know only too well. You can buy either cheaper Chinese varieties, or, one made in Germany, they call it cannon anti-attack & it comes in a green can - more expensive but it's the best one.

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Do you have tips how you can protect yourself without violating the law and without making the situation more dangerous?

Without making it more dangerous?:

Give them what they want and then get the <deleted> out of there. You where lucky tonight as there are plenty out there with a gun/knife AND whom are willing to use it.

Is it really worth the risk for 2000 baht?

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Pepperspray might be good, but I am not sure it really works. If it doesn't work as it should be I might have a very serious problem.

It works; in a controlled experiment I tried a very small shot on myself. It's also useful if you're attacked by dogs, as is the telescopic baton; if you walk around villages at night, this is the situation where you're most likely to end up using them, as I know only too well. You can buy either cheaper Chinese varieties, or, one made in Germany, they call it cannon anti-attack & it comes in a green can - more expensive but it's the best one.

Thanks!

Last week I was riding bicycle and I was bitten by a street dog. I lost and will loose about 4000 Baht for rabies vaccinations. Pepperspray isn't a bad idea.

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"Pepperspray might be good, but I am not sure it really works. If it doesn't work as it should be I might have a very serious problem"

Believe me it works alright.

I gave the mearest touch to check if it was still working, in my room, and not anywhere near my face.

I was gasping and retching over the balcony for a long time.

Also talking to the girl in the pharmacy section of a well known small/med size mart that sells it, she told me that a customer had tried his purchase with a decisive spray, and had cleared the place.

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Do you have tips how you can protect yourself without violating the law and without making the situation more dangerous?

Without making it more dangerous?:

Give them what they want and then get the <deleted> out of there. You where lucky tonight as there are plenty out there with a gun/knife AND whom are willing to use it.

Is it really worth the risk for 2000 baht?

If I have to give money to everyone that has an angry face and asks for money, I will have nothing left. I don't give money until I really see a weapon. I didn't see a weapon.

My wife has a business, she sells clothes for monks, Buddha statues, joss sticks and other similar things. In the shop the are only 2 small girls working. They regularly get visits from ugly looking guys with angry faces asking for money. One of them wraps a cloth around his knuckles as if he wants to fight. Many poor people use intimidation techniques to extort money from shopkeepers (especially when the shopkeepers are girls). We can not give money every time. I live on a Thai budget.

Edited by kriswillems
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"If I have to give money to everyone that has an angry face and asks for money, I will have nothing left"

George Burns was held up at gunpoint, "Your money or your life", demanded the guy.

"C'mon, C'mon hurry up"

"I'm thinking about it" , said George.

Thanks, I needed that :o This is my first smile after this "event". I was quite shocked.

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Do you have tips how you can protect yourself without violating the law and without making the situation more dangerous?

Where can I buy these things?

Amongst other things, you might like to consider any of the the following items:

A long heavy torch Yes, got that.

Pepper Spray Yes, got that. Canon, The best!

Telescopic Baton Yes, got that.

Leather Billy <deleted>? Sounds faggoty. :wai:

Electric Shock Baton Not yet

Flapper :D a What?

Sap Gloves :D a What?

Jeez Clayton, where are you from? :o:D:D

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It would help if you say where you live.

In Patty, they were on sale openly (tele battons.)

Chemists & camping supplies for the Cannon.

BKK...... see the young Thai guy at the foot of the stairs at Nana BTS for both, he doesn't sell them but will know a guy who does.

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To me it happened on Sukumvit near Laem Chabang, in an industrial area (without houses and no gates). The owner of the gass station told me that people get robbed there very regularly and that I was no exception. The thief I met was not a professional thief and didn't prepare to steal. I just think he starting thinking about stealing when he saw a "farang" alone at night.

I met him 2 times. The first time he came out of a Soy (living area). He saw my face. He was going to opposite (wrong) way. I met him 10 minutes later again in the deserted area where I had no way to escape. I think he lives around there. I am pretty sure he didn't have any weapon and he was just trying to intimidate me by acting as if he had a gun and counting down. He was not very brave on his motorcycle and he didn't succeed in stopping me (with a bicycle you can turn and accelerate much faster than with a motorcycle of that kind). If I wanted I could have made him fall by pulling his steer. I thought about that, but I didn't want to make him aggressive(he behaved rather calm). At a speed of about 35kms/h he would not be hurt enough.

After he got 2 bills of 20 baht, he was trying to "bargain". He said he wanted 500B. After I said I had no more money, he wanted my watch.

I am the kind of guy that never fights and I avoid all confrontations (if I can). So, if it would come to a fight I would loose for sure.

Edited by kriswillems
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IMHO you placed yourself in harm's way simply by being alone in an isolated area without any means of protection. Quite simply you were asking to get robbed. I have written at length on safety here in Bangkok and the lack of emergency services. My questioning usually begins with what is the response time of the police here if you get into trouble and have a chance to call in about it? It's a trick question because you will not be able to get a police officer to assist you in your time of need. In fact the guy that is robbing you may be the police. If you get shot or stabbed in an isolated area and you still have a mobile telephone how long is it going to take you to get medical aid? What telephone number do you call for that ambulance or pickup team to get you to a qualified facility?

Riding around on a bicycle in an industrial area may be someone's idea of a good time but you must remember you are in a developing country with a declining economy where more and more people are going to be turning to crime every day. Some will be stealing to fuel their drug habit but more and more will be just trying to feed their families. You should count yourself among the lucky that you were not hurt or killed. One more Thai guy working with your robber friend may have resulted in a very different outcome.

Sap gloves, pepper spray, batons and throwing stars are great if you know how to apply them as weapons. I carry a knife as edged weapons are great for a lot of things. The law here examines your state of mind, or reasons for carry the knife, to determine if you can legally do it. My rehearsed reason is that in the event of a traffic accident I will be able to cut a person out who is trapped by a malfunctioning seat belt. TIT and that will be good enough to justify my carrying this valuable safety device.

With the exception of pepper spray you have to be well trained to defend yourself and many of us will be unable to do so with multiple criminals trying to take our stuff. The best way to to avoid becoming a victim is not to become a target. That means NO bicycle riding alone in a deserted industrial neighborhood in Thailand. This situation conjures up the Death Wish movies with Charles Bronson turning the tables on the criminals by making them feel safe in their own environment and then he kills them.

Basically you need to have a lot of people around to discourage criminals from making you a target. When leaving a bank or ATM examine your surroundings to make sure you are not being watched. If at all possible do your drinking and partying before midnight. Most violent crime occurs late when the criminals are in need of quick money. I have some idea how to protect myself but when I am in an unfamiliar environment known for high crime I am not reticent to take measures to protect myself. Take Rio de Janeiro for example. I had the biggest bodyguard you ever saw with me from 10:00 PM until I went back to my hotel. Money well spent!

Join a gym. Great way to meet people in a safe environment. The place is full of stationary bicycles and you only have to concern yourself with locker theft.

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Mate,use pepper spray,electric stun guns or a handgun,and you run a serious risk of ending up in the slammer and being deported.They are illegal items for a foreigner to carry,but in saying that,what is your life worth?I would just be sure to carry a "spare" wallet with 100 baht in it.But i can understand your problems with mafia style tactics used by Thai criminals,a tough call for sure. :o

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Personally I ride one of these..............

Scandinavian design company Aurumania have launched a limited edition run of 10 of the world’s most expensive bike.

At €80,000, (that’s just over £60,000 or USD118,000) each bike is hand-built and gold-plated with 24-carat gold, then decked out with over 600 Swarovski crystals.

Hand-sewn leather grips and a Brooks leather saddle provide finishing touches to the bike, with each limited edition number embossed with gold leaf and set into a leather badge onto the bike’s headtube.

The company has also created a 24-carat gold wall holder for the bike, to be displayed as a work of art. We assume 10 of these will be made too…

Haven't had a problem thus far...........

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Personally I ride one of these..............

Scandinavian design company Aurumania have launched a limited edition run of 10 of the world's most expensive bike.

At €80,000, (that's just over £60,000 or USD118,000) each bike is hand-built and gold-plated with 24-carat gold, then decked out with over 600 Swarovski crystals.

Hand-sewn leather grips and a Brooks leather saddle provide finishing touches to the bike, with each limited edition number embossed with gold leaf and set into a leather badge onto the bike's headtube.

The company has also created a 24-carat gold wall holder for the bike, to be displayed as a work of art. We assume 10 of these will be made too…

Haven't had a problem thus far...........

That's because they are too busy laughing........ :o

Edited by tritexengineering
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i recently bought a bike and have been enjoying riding around town and getting lost, discovering new places etc. its a great way to see a city.

i have been lucky that i havent been bit by a dog or robbed. but i will take more caution now thanks to your warnings here.

i had been thinking about how to defend against a dog attack- a friend said he'd spit water at them from his camel pack, that and ringing his bell seems to freak out the dog.

i was imagining the baton might be good if it you could whip it out in time, tho dogs are quick..

and i had been riding in some dark dodgey areas alone, i had this perception that bangkok was such a 'safe' city.

thanks again for both warnings.

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Kris,

PLEASE take care & especially when getting advice on this matter.

Understand that many people produce counter attack weapons in these situations & if they are not properly trained in both the use of & rentention of these items THEY MAY FIND them being used on themselves. Some countries gather statistics on this type of thing and the results are rather alarming.

Also I have trained extensively with the use of Pepper spray, also known as OC spray which is Oleresin Capsicum. One of the golden rules of this type of spray is that IT IS ONLY EFFECTIVE ON 90% OF THE PEOPLE 90% OF THE TIME. I will indicate to you that I am one of the people that can fight thru the effects of this spray & if you come across someone else that can and you spray them, they may become very cranky and harm you....definately not worth being seriously injured for or killed. It is great to stop animals attacking & I've never heard of a viscious dog pulling out a gun.

Please before you arm yourself, make sure that you have both the training and skills to use the item. Also you should note that you may be breaking the law as well.

Remember many criminals that prey on people are Opportunists, only a small percentage plan things out thoroughly. Its all about reducing your risk.

I realise that I havent answered your question in relation to what you can do to protect yourself, but other here have already given you some good ideas to make things a little safer for you. You don't sound like a fool, so with a little more forethought YOU may be able to avoid this situation from occuring again. Glad you were not hurt on this occassion.

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Pepper spray is ok as long as its not windy, It can be blown back in your face and then the real trouble starts.

Its better to use a pepper gel spray ,this sticks to the attackers face and alot less chance of it landing on you.

colino

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