Title: Six Common Criminal Types and How to Avoid Them
Author: Scott Shaper
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Six Common Criminal Types and How to Avoid Them
by Scott Shaper

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" that saying is
as true for crime, as it is for health. After taking literally
thousands of reports over the years I spent as a police officer;
I found that a lot of crimes that had happened could have been
prevented. The easiest and most effective way of dealing with
crime is not be a victim of it in the first place. This is easier
said then done, and no matter how cautious you are you can still
be a victim. Nothing will give you a 100% guarantee; however,
there are things you can do to at least limit your odds of being
a victim. But first; you have to know what you are preventing
yourself from, in order to know how to prevent against it. This
article will in general show you some of the common criminal
types, and give some suggestions on how to avoid them. I have
made up my own classifications for these people based upon my
experience as a police officer.

Passive thieves:

Passive thieves are those who steal but are not aggressive
towards their victims. They prefer their victims not to be
around. These people usually are the ones who will break into
your car, home, business etc. They are impulsive and really do
not think much about the penalties they will face if they get
caught. Sometimes they pre plan to do a crime, but other times
they see an opportunity and go for it. For example: a thief is
walking through a parking lot and sees a laptop sitting on the
front seat of a unoccupied vehicle. Next thing you know the
window is smashed and the laptop is gone. Now the thief didn't
preplan to take the laptop, or to target that particular vehicle.
They just saw an opportunity and went for it, without even
thinking for a second about who the victim is, or what will
happen to them if they get caught. Some of the common items they
steal are cash, checks, credit cards, purses, laptops, or if they
break into your home they will also target: desktop computers,
TV's, VCR's, DVD player, tools, jewelry, basically anything they
think they can turn into cash. These types of criminals are some
of the easiest to deal with from a preventative nature. Because
they are always looking for an easy opportunity, your best
defense is not to give them one. Some of the common things
people (potential victims) inadvertently do which create easy
opportunities are listed below.

- Leaving their keys in the car
- Leaving the house unlocked
- Leaving the car unlocked
- Making it obvious that they are gone for an extended period of
- Leaving valuables in the car that are in plain view
- Leaving their vehicle running while unattended
- Leaving their purse in the shopping cart while shopping

These are just a few examples to give you the general idea. In my
book "Crime Awareness 101" I cover the above bulleted items in
much greater detail. I also break down 11 specific crimes and
give more preventive tips, and I include what to do after the

Aggressive thieves:

These types of criminals are much more dangerous and much harder
to prevent against. They mostly focus on doing armed robberies,
and expect their victims to be there. They are violent in nature
and very unpredictable. They care nothing about the victim, and
lately it appears that they are more then willing to kill. The do
pre plan their crimes somewhat but not usually very well, their
main tool of control is their intimidation, and the weapon they
carry. Even without a weapon they can be dangerous and will fight
ferociously. They usually won't stay around long if they are just
robbing a business, or an individual on the street. However; if
they take the victim somewhere or get into get them in a
insolated area, then the crime may turn to rape, aggravated
assault, or murder. Here are some activities, which may invite
this type of problem.

- Not being aware of you surroundings
- Being alone late at night, or in unsafe areas
- Displaying large amounts of cash or valuables
- Working at convenience stores, or gas stations.
- Letting people in your home that you do not know.

In my book "Crime Awareness 101" I give detailed explanations
about the above bullets, and what to do about it.

Passive Assaulters:

These are your date rape type. They are not actively aggressive
however they are sneakier. They preplan their attacks, or take
advantage of someone who has put themselves in a vulnerable
position ( for example someone who is passed out from
intoxication or drug use). They will appear to be your friend and
then slip something in your drink (date rape drug) to knock you
out, where they can then take advantage of you. The unfaithful
business traveler can also fall victim to these criminals. Only
this time it will be an attractive female who acts as if she is
attracted to him. When they get alone she will slip something in
his drink to knock him out and then rob him. Usually the
unfaithful business traveler is too embarrassed to report this
type of crime so you don't hear about it much. The date rape
criminal is the one you need to be concerned about. In my book
"Crime Awareness 101" I give a complete explanation on date rape
and what to look for including the following topics:

- Potential date rapist behavioral signs that should raise a
 red flag
- Circumstances that are favorable to this crime and how to
 avoid them
- Preventative tips for both rape and date rape
- Suggestions of what to do when confronted with a rapist

Alcohol induced troublemakers:

These types of people are normally pretty descent people, but
when they drink they become a monster. We had one person who was
huge, strong as an ox, and when he drank look out it was going to
be fight night. We would always have to wrestle with him, once we
had him cuffed and in the back seat of the car. He would sit and
smash his head against the plastic divider so hard that he would
cut it open, and then off to the hospital we would go. Once he
got into a cell he would do the same thing against the cell wall
cutting his head open and again off to the hospital we would go.
Usually arresting him meant a fight, two trips to the hospital,
and having at least three officers tied up for hours. Yet when he
was sober he was the nicest guy, alcohol just made him extremely
violent. Of course he mixed a few drugs in there too, but alcohol
was the main cause for his violence. You will encounter these
types at the bar, sporting events, large parties, and
unfortunately sometimes weddings. The best defense against these
types is just stay clear of them, and don't get into any
confrontations with them.

Silent Assaulters:

These are typically your domestic violence types. They are
outwardly pretty meek and mild, where most people that know them
outside of the home would never think they are domestic abusers;
however, inside the home structure they are very controlling,
and that control is enforced through physical assaults and
psychological degradation. I remember one incident where a woman
was severely beaten by her live in boyfriend. She was surprised
that she ever got into this situation. She stated that she was an
educated professional woman, and her abuser was a well-educated
man making a six figure income. According to her, he is kind off
a geek that nobody would give a second thought of as far as being
a threat. However, he beat her so badly that she was hospitalized
with a closed head injury. It's very important to really know the
person you are getting involved with. Many times red flags will
appear early in the relationship that are signs that the person
could be a domestic abuser. I have written a complete section on
domestic violence which is covered in my book "Crime Awareness
101." In that section I talk about what to look for, preventative
measures to take, the cycle of violence, plus what to do when you
are a victim. I also list numerous support groups and other


These are criminals who are better known as con artists. They
pre-plan their scams and are usually very good at them. They are
normally non-violent, very good at getting your trust, and
talking their way out of situations. They offer free trips,
discounted services, money, etc., whatever they offer its just
front to get you interested, in the end they are going to take
your money. They may also pose as your Medical Insurance carrier,
Bank, Credit Card Company, etc, and con you into telling them
your personal information. These con artists attempt their scams
in person, over the phone, and through the internet. In my book
"Crime Awareness 101" I wrote a chapter on scams which list some
of the more common scams and what to look out for. In the members
area of my website http://www.crimeawareness101.com I list, and
consistently update even more scams.

Copyright  2005 Scott Shaper

About Scott: Scott Shaper is a former police officer with over
fourteen years law enforcement experience. He is also the author
of the book "Crime Awareness 101", and the operator of the
website, http://www.crimeawareness101.com. Visit his website for
more crime prevention articles and information about his book.


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