Posted by Ready or Not, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 3, 2008 at 11:15 pm
Wow, what a decision to have to make in a heartbeat.
We are fortunate to live/work in an area that is low in crime but this is a serious issue in the Bay Area and it is important to stay vigilant in any town.
Practice these until they become habits. At first they may feel like overkill, but once you make them habits, itíll feel effortless.
1) Always scan way ahead and behind, keeping track of events coming up in front of you and behind you with a mindful eye on anything unusual. We tend to dismiss things too fast. If it doesn't look or feel right use appropriate caution.
2) When coming to a stop, whenever possible give yourself a way out. For example, if there is a car stopped in front of you, ask yourself, if that car doesn't move how could I get around it? Keep enough distance for maneuvering around the vehicle.
3) Keep your doors locked. This sounds so simple but is forgotten very often with the use of remotes. This can buy you a few precious seconds.
4) When someone asks you to roll down your window for directions, etc and you feel comfortable, a couple of inches are fine, but never low enough for someone to gain entry or take control.
5) As you drive into your neighborhood scan to see who's coming in behind you. Never, ever pull in towards your house until you are comfortable with the vehicle(s) coming in behind you, even the ones at a distance. If a vehicle seems to be with you turn for turn, itís probably a coincidence but take the extra thirty seconds to drive around the block to clear the vehicle away.
6) Get used to reading license plates. Practice at stoplights. There are different kinds but get used to the patterns. For example, modern average non-commercial California plates have seven characters with the pattern of a number, then three letters, and then three numbers. Even getting partial plates can help the police.
1) Stock vehicle windows are very easy to smash. Apply very light tint (yes I know the law, but I also know safety) or clear film on your front windows. This makes it very difficult for someone trying to smash your window and take control.
2) Program local emergency and non-emergency (for questions or to report suspicious non-threatening activity) police numbers for home and work areas into your cell phone. This can be much faster than calling 911 from a cell phone, which is routed through a CHP office (I believe it's still in Vallejo) that could have you on hold for precious minutes before being transferred to a local PD.
Police Non-Emergency Number - (925) 931-5100
Police Emergency Number - (925) 931-5122