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So once again I’ve vanished (even though I said I wouldn’t). Here is something amusing just to break the ice again. A few months ago I was leaving Columbia University’s iron gates when security handed me this flyer.

Larceny – Crime Prevention Tips

  • Take extreme care of your personal property (e.g., backpacks, laptops, wallets, purses, etc.) while shopping and dining. Keep property in sight, and never leave it unattended, not even for a minute.
  • Beware of any individual who attempts to distract you (e.g. asks you a simple question) because s/he or an accomplice may be looking to take your property.
  • Don’t carry your purse loosely around your shoulder. Clutch it tightly under your arm or, better yet, avoid carrying a purse and keep a wallet (containing only items you need) in your pocket instead.
  • Never leave valuable items unsecured at your work location. Secure them and immediately report any suspicious persons wandering about at your work place.
  • The best and really the only way to prevent larcenies from motor vehicles is never to leave valuables in your car unattended (.e.g., electronic goods such as cellular phones, laptops computers as well as credit/debit cards).
  • In addition to cash, thieves desire credit cards. Carry only credit/debit cards that you frequently use and properly safeguard them.


Now isn’t this advice just a bit extreme? Interestingly, the same advice was given to me when I was in Barcelona. In fact, every single time I asked for directions, the locals would always begin by warning me how dangerous parts of the city could be. Is crime really that rampant internationally?!

  • Rich P

    This actually reminds me of orientation at Stuy. Mr. Blaufarb was talking about safety in the area and how we shouldn’t stray off of Chambers Street between the subway and school. He also said that we shouldn’t respond to people who ask for the time because the response would be something like “Hey! That’s a nice watch…now give it to me.”