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Similarities In Interview Techniques Panhandlers V. Muggers

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics and Training' started by Trunk Monkey, Apr 25, 2014.

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  1. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey Member

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    There has been a woman hanging around the Apartment complex I live in for the last week or so. I don’t know who she is or who she’s staying with or anything about her but I can tell she is bad news.

    The woman is essentially a panhandler and watching her operate has been educational. She exhibits the same interview techniques that muggers do to get inside people’s boundaries. It’s pretty apparent that she views everyone she comes in contact with as at least a potential mark same as muggers (and Amway “distributors”) do.

    The first words she ever spoke to me were “Do you have an extra cigarette?” My response, “I don’t smoke” and I kept right on moving. Last night I walk out of my building and she was sitting on the steps yelling at something and she got up and walked away when I walked out the door, then turned around and I watched her turn on the interview.

    She came walking right up to me and asked if I knew how to get to Wal Mart (Wal Mart is less than 3 blocks from my home you can see it from the end of the parking lot.). Again my response was given while I kept right on moving “It’s right across the street.”

    The point of this thread is I’m trying to get a discussion started about various interview techniques that muggers and panhandlers use and the similarity between the two (they’re both trying to get inside your bubble to take something from you) and what works for you when you find yourself in that type of situation.

    For me depending on the circumstances I don’t stop moving and I don’t engage, sometimes I don’t even answer but that can be iffy too because it can just escalate things
     
  2. Hometeached1

    Hometeached1 Member

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    I tend to use the same tactics as you. Another thing that I do which started doing for another reason is wearing "bummie" clothes (the place I work at wears clothes out fast and is really dirty so no need to wear something nice). Also driving a vehicle that is older and not very "fancy" in my case a 97 Ranger with just under 300,000 miles on it that also kind of needs a paint job (hey it's paid for) helps with not looking like you have a lot of money.

    Looking forward to all the discussion and hoping to learn some good stuff.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2014
  3. Sol

    Sol Member

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    She is a terrible panhandler.

    A pro usually brings up a non existant family.

    "I got car troubles need some $$ for (fix-a-flat, petrol etc.) family in the car."

    Or $ for public transportation.

    "I just got out if jail..."
    "Hey my dude."
    " 'scuse me Sir"
    " Whatchugitonmyforty"
    " I need some $ for my Rx"

    It doesn't matter what the opening line is, it all amounts to the same. It's a game about control and after 1st contact you pretty much under their control.

    Pop psychology 101: Generally when somebody asks anyone for anything (within reason) the request will be fulfilled. People are naturally inclined to please others.

    Some of the panhandlers have smartened up. They feign injury, wear a brace or an ace bandage. These medical devices are usually dingy and dirty from prolonged use.

    When I'm approached I do stupid things and should not be taken as advice.
    When asked for anything, I turn it around and ask them.

    When asked for a smoke while I'm smoking I tell them I don't smoke.
    I tell them I'm homeless.
    I tell them to find Jesus and he loves you.
    Act crazy mumbling everything about nothing.

    Best advice, no eye contact, no response and walk away like you have to be somewhere.
     
  4. denton

    denton Member

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    Anyone can ask a question of anyone else.

    Our society teaches us to respond. That is the trap.

    You owe no one a cigarette, the time of day, the directions to WalMart, or an excuse as to why you won't provide them.

    Years ago, I was walking a couple of miles back to the hotel, late at night, after a movie. A soft female voice came out of the shadows: "Hello. Nice night. Where are you going?" It occurred to me that anything I said was likely to get me into trouble. I trudged forward, looking neither left nor right.

    It's still a good strategy.
     
  5. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    TM, Cant the property manger tell her to knock it off?

    Me, I am downright rude, no matter the story the answer is No
     
  6. armedwalleye

    armedwalleye Member

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    I'm similar to bikerdoc, rude, but still polite.

    Rather than just "No", I offer, "No. Thank you." They're somewhat used to rude. Thank you usually mystifies them enough so I'm out of contact range before they can come up with a response.
     
  7. Deltaboy1984

    Deltaboy1984 Member

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    As a bivocational minister and public school employee I give them a firm no or I act hard of hearing. I never let them get going.
     
  8. besafe2

    besafe2 Member

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    I just tell them all to get the .... lost.
     
  9. Willie Sutton

    Willie Sutton Member

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    The combination of the physical (raised left hand, palm forward, with a pushing motion) and the verbal command ranging from "I've got nothing for you" to "f... off", depending on how I feel verbal judo would best work in any particular situation, is the same no matter who interviews me for whatever reason they are trying to make contact. You owe these vermin nothing, so give them nothing to work with.

    Being asssertive is always easier when the right hand has access to a one-second from "go" center mass-shot though... ;)


    Willie

    .
     
  10. Panzerschwein

    Panzerschwein member

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    This is what I recommend.

    I carry one of those small condiment sized packets of Nutella chocolate spread in my back pocket at all times. When someone approaches me on the street who I don't know, and they start panhandling etc., I simply reach in my back pocket and squeeze the Nutella packet hard, popping it open and dispensing the Nutella into my hand. The "popping" sounds of the packet imitates the sound of flatulence, and with some practice in can appear as if you are reaching down into your undergarments when you are really just reaching into your back pocket. You can start to see where this is going.

    Now, I pull my hand out of my pocket and it is covered with Nutella chocolate spread. I then begin to yell things like "HAY THAR MAN YEW WONT SUM FERTILIZER!?!?!?" etc.

    You will find that this will get rid of most solicitors in a timely manor.

    YMMV.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2014
  11. Deaf Smith

    Deaf Smith Member

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    Just use the general, "I cannot help you" while moving away.

    If they try to get into your personal space then say, "STAY BACK".

    If they keep coming then say it again. Give them at least a couple of warnings before you use such as pepper spray (you do carry some of that, don't you?).
    And then you call the cops first so you are the 'victim', they are the attacker.

    And watch out for any second stranger that happens to be walking by.
    They may be the friend of the 'panhandler' and will try to blind side you.
    Yes they may plan on mugging you.

    Deaf
     
  12. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey Member

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    She may well have I haven't seen the girl today.

    That said, getting rid of the girl isn’t my issue I couldn’t care less what she does as long as she stays away from me or my wife, my point is recognizing the interview technique.

    One thing I’ve noticed about this woman and other panhandlers especially the more aggressive one is that they act like there is no such thing as boundaries or at least like you don’t have any. They try to move right into your space and they try to take control of the interaction from the start.

    As someone has already pointed out this girl is a piss poor mooch, I’ve seen some of these guys downtown whose tactics border on strong arm robbery. this girl is just a mooch.
     
  13. rondog

    rondog Member

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    You in the Denver area, Trunk Monkey? I can't remember exactly - anyway, that twit sounds like my stepdaughter, the homeless junkie. Kinda short, long dirty blondish/brownish hair? If she ever approaches with "hey brother...", that's probably her. She's a real piece of work.

    Probably isn't her, there's thousands of street twits around here, but she's out there somewhere, bugging somebody.....
     
  14. Tobias1900

    Tobias1900 Member

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    I don't even acknowledge them.
    It pisses them off, but [I don't care]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2014
  15. BrotherFrankie

    BrotherFrankie Member

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    i am a pastor to homeless and addicts.. i still say only "stay away" firm or no response...

    its not rude.. is smart
     
  16. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Member

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    If you must respond to any negative approach.... Here's the one I use. Look them right in the eye and say NO, while at the same time moving into a defensive ready posture -weak hand and foot forward, strong hand moving to rear of hip where it can't be seen....
    I never raise my voice, use any profanity, and try to keep my tone as neutral as possible but leave no doubt that I'm not an easy mark. I do not carry a firearm (and haven't since I left police work some years ago...) so that moving my strong hand where it can't be seen is as much bluff as anything else - but it works over and over again....

    Most on the street will read this body language as entirely more trouble than they want, period. Any approaching individual that ignores your response and posture is real trouble and loses any presumption that they're harmless as far as I'm concerned. This is my nineteenth year in retirement from police work. As a guy who keeps odd hours in rough places (I came off the water at the 79th Street boat ramp -Miami, at 0100 this morning after a late night charter...) I get the chance to practice this technique more than I'd like. Eventually I probably will finally run into someone (panhandler or worse) where I need to go to plan B... I'll take that as it comes.
     
  17. 230RN
    • Contributing Member

    230RN Marines raising the left-leaning Pisa tower.

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    Many years working in downtown Denver. You learn to spot an approach before they get close. I just shake my head and say "I have nothing for you." 80% of the time that does the trick. They may come up with an alternate ploy, like, "I was just gonna ask you for the time."

    The last time this happened, there was one of those street clocks a couple of feet away which showed the correct time.

    I would just repeat that I had nothing for you. Occasional "cheap bastard" and the like would come back at me.

    Besides stuff like that happening while you're just walking down the street, we had a little spot outside the building where we would gather to have a smoke-break. Whenever I was out there alone, chances were 50-50 I'd get an approach.

    There was an article in Westword Magazine (a popular local free weekly) about ten years ago where the journalist interviewed a bunch of these panhandlers and it would seem some of them pulled in $30K a year. And of course for most of them that was tax free. So figuring an estimated 30% tax rate, that works out to an effective ~$40K a year income.

    And that was about ten years ago, more or less.

    Terry
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2014
  18. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey Member

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    Until it doesn't
     
  19. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey Member

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    Let’s take the panhandling thing out of the equation for a second and focus on the fact that you really don’t know who this person that’s trying to close the gap on you and trying to get into your bubble is.

    Regardless of the person’s end goal the purpose of the interview is the same. They want you to lower your guard and let them in your space.

    I’ve told this story before but I was attacked at work one night by a guy who walked up to me asking directions to a local bar. He acted completely normal (if a little tipsy) right up to the point he went for my throat. Had my partner not been right there things might have gone much worse.

    Now granted I was at somewhat of a disadvantage at work because customer service (like giving people directions) was part of my job description so I couldn’t “blade up” on the guy and tell him to [back] off but I could have been a lot more aware of him and a lot more mentally prepared.

    After that incident I tend to be a lot more aware of people that are trying to enter my space and a lot more cognizant of when they’ve singled me out and are trying to close the gap (not that it’s a daily occurrence). I know you can’t prove a negative but I think a lot of times the fact that I am paying attention stops the interview before it starts.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2014
  20. Madcap_Magician

    Madcap_Magician Member

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    Some of us are just talented enough to fart on command.
     
  21. rondog

    rondog Member

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    And some of us are just old enough to understand there are risks in doing that.....
     
  22. skoro

    skoro Member

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    Past certain age, you just can't trust a fart. ;)
     
  23. colorado_handgunner

    colorado_handgunner Member

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    As far as panhandlers go, if you are paying attention, you can often see them coming.
    I make eye contact and shake my head no when they are still approaching.
    This tends to get them to stop and move on.
    If tgey continue to approach, I state it verbally.
    If continued after verbal, I follow the same stance as earlier stated, stop with hand out and firm command to keep distance.
    Thankfully it has never escallated past this.
     
  24. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    We default to training - last time I had an aggressive panhandler I went into stance and gave the loud command "Get back!". He got back. Last time I checked he was still getting back at high speed. Oops


    That is talent indeed!
     
  25. ChCx2744

    ChCx2744 Member

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    Some kid walked up to me in the Walmart parking lot out of nowhere and asked "Hey do you have a phone I can borrow?" I gave a simple, yet firm "Nope" and kept walking. He gave me the "Tch, uh okay" and shrugged. I must admit that he literally seemed to have come out of nowhere. Either my situational awareness was off at that particular moment, or he was genuinely following me in the parking lot.

    Just be aware of how close people get to you and "No" most definately means "No."
     
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