After a report of a suspicious van following female joggers and bicyclists in a Midland neighborhood, we shared some tips to help keep you safe while you're out. 

It's a fact of life that, with money comes a bad element and with West Texas new economic upturn, comes an undesirable element to out cities. Criminals look for easy targets and violent crime reports have been on the increase with our economy. After reading the report of suspicious persons in a van shadowing females in a Midland neighborhood, I called my friend and law enforcement officer, Dennis Morris to share some tips to keep you safe.

Number one of Dennis's list: Situational Awareness.

Knowing what's going on around you is what will be your best defense from someone looking to do harm. 'Get you head out of Facebook and quit texting when you should be observing your surroundings.' He stated. 'Just watch people at the Mall, and you'll see people paying no attention to their surroundings.'

If you go out running, dress in bright clothes and stay in well-lit areas with plenty of escape routes.

If you are approached, run the other way and make noise...a lot of noise. Run to the nearest home and yell for help. Criminals don't like noise and they don't like to have to chase a victim.

Never, ever, let someone get you into their vehicle. Statistics show that very bad things happen if the criminal get the victim into their vehicle. Better to fight with all you've got and scratch off as much DNA off the perp as possible.

The City of Midland Police Department offers self-defense classes to women:

Finally, if you have a concealed handgun license, carry your gun. Your firearm does you no good locked in the car or back at the house, 5 blocks away. There are many carry options for joggers and bicyclists including fanny-packs or even the 'Flashbang Bra Holster'.

Watch how the 'Flashbang Bra Holster' works:

Again, using your brain is your best defense. Be careful out there!



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