How long would it take you to get mugged in your hometown?

Saw an interesting TV programme tonight.

An undercover TV journalist wandered around the most high crime area in London at night actually trying to get mugged. He was carrying a laptop and an expensive mobile phone. Both of these were equipped with tracking devices, microphones etc.

He was wearing stab-proof padding and had a hidden camera and microphone in his coat. He also had some accomplices hidden in a car round the corner in case he got into trouble.

So he just wandered around the darkest alleys and the roughest housing estates in Brixton, acting really dumb, waving his phone around and deliberately talking to the likeliest looking muggers.

Eventually, of course, he succeeded in getting mugged but it took three days and even then he had to be exceptionally naive.

First his mobile got snatched by some kid who ran off. He started chasing the kid but then some other guy on the street said “It’s ok, the kids my cousin, I know where he lives. Give me £10 and I’ll get your phone back”. So the undercover reporter says ok.

Bear in mind this all takes place at 12:30 am.

The guy tells the reporter to come with him and he leads him into a dark (very rough) estate of flats (apartments). Unfortunately by going into this estate the reporter becomes disconnected from his colleagues waiting in the car who have tracking equipment, so he’s now on his own, they don’t know where he’s gone. But the camera and microphones in his coat are still working.

The reporter ends up talking to this guy for about 40 mins, getting on quite well. Suddenly the guy pulls a knife and says “Give me the laptop or I’ll stab you”.

The reporter says “yeah, no problem, take it” and runs away, somewhat shaken.

The next day the reporter manages to find the guy (remember the laptop contained tracking devices) and he confronts him with a camera crew. The guy at first pretends it wasn’t him and then runs away. No doubt he’ll be receiving a visit from the police quite soon.

But it was quite reassuring to see that it took him a whole three days to get mugged in London, bearing in mind he was deliberately trying to get mugged wandering around the roughest areas at night carrying an expensive mobile and a laptop.

Also during those three days many people on the street tried to help him. Homeless people and junkies were telling him to put his mobile away. One homeless junkie girl even escorted him for a while because she was a “known” face in the area and he would be safe with her.

All this was quite touching.

I think it’s an interesting idea though. How quick could you get mugged in your home town if you really wanted to, eg by walking through the roughest areas at night carrying a laptop and a mobile?

In London, apparently, it takes three days.

It goes without saying that this undercover reporter has some cojones.

You could walk around my hometown for four years waving handfuls of hundred-dollar bills in midair, banging a drum and screaming “LOOK AT ME I’VE GOT TONS OF MONEY AND I’M STUPID!”

And even then you wouldn’t get mugged.

You probably wouldn’t see more than ten people that whole time, anyway.

The local predators probably said:
“This guy is nuts - let’s leave him alone!” or “It’s a sting - leave him alone”
Let’s face it, normal people do not act like this.

yeah Galen, there was an element of that.

At one point he was talking to some drug dealers on the street asking them if they had coke or crack but all they had was skunk (grass). They spotted that he was wearing a stabproof vest and accused him of being police. In the end he had to tell them he was a reporter. They saw through him.

But still.

In my neighborhood you’d have to beg people to mug you.
Go a mile south, hang around at 3 am and a mugging might be the least of your problems. A Dunkin Donuts in that area was robbed something like 3 times in a month once.

This is “Hometown USA” (According to Look Magazine) I can’t think of anything that would get you mugged here. I have never locked my doors at night. I leave my keys in the car at all times. If I ever forget to lock the doors of my business, I don’t even bother to go back and lock up.

Everyone pretty much looks out for each other, knows everyone. I lived in Boston for 4 years and I couldn’t wait to come back here. I love small towns.



True enough.
Back to the OP:
Personally, I’d think I’d find it fairly difficult to get mugged. This is not a very large town, and the “bad areas” are fairly well known. One time I got a flat in the “bad area” Other than an offer to help (when I was almost done) nobody bothered me.
Of course, I’m a young male topping 6’ - not a muggers preferred prey.

It wasn’t hard for my friend-

He was waiting for a bus in Boston reading a book and 4 guys came up to him and one of them said something along the lines of

“I’m CRAZY! I just escaped from CANCUN! Do you wanna know how crazy I am???”

My friend said no, he didn’t want to know how crazy he was and they knocked him down and took his money but all he had was 4 dollars and when they found that he only had four dollars they kicked the crap out of him and broke his glasses and got blood all over the book he was reading.

Or maybe it’s harder than it seems to get mugged, because my friend has lived in Boston all his life and this was the first time something like that had happened.

Maybe he would have gotten away unscathed if he had been carrying a laptop and a phone.

yes, Galen, but the question in the OP is: how long would it take to get mugged assuming you wanted to get mugged ie by wandering around the roughest area of town at 1:00 am carrying a laptop and a mobile.

The reporter in this programme was deliberately trying to get mugged, doing things that most people wouldn’t ordinarily do. Like following some strange guy into the middle of a rough estate at 1 am.

I’m not even sure that laptops and cell phones have made it to my hometown yet – it’s that deep in the woods.

I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that no one has ever been mugged in my hometown. I’d have to pull a gun on someone and demand that they mug me to get that job done.

If I tried to get mugged, I think I could get the job done in less than three days. I’d recommend the intersection of Franklin Ave and Chicago Ave as prime “mug me” territory. I’ve lived here all my life, though, and I’m not afraid to go anywhere in the Twin Cities area.

But then again, I’ve walked around in Bedford-Stuyvesant at night and had a rental car crap out on a side street in the southwest Chicago. Maybe I’m just too stupid to mug.

It’d take years around here. Our local criminals are very timid… Breaking into your car in the middle of night is more their speed.

Probably forever in my hometown, but in downtown Chicago, it takes more than 3 1/2 weeks walking around between 6:00 am and 8:00 am in the morning. (That’s how long I was on jury duty about two years ago,)

OK, walking around at 1 AM (which I often do - I’m a night owl) in the rough section of town carrying a laptop and waving a cell phone…

Honestly, I couldn’t even begin to guess…I’ve worked in Overtown (a very rough section of Miami) and never got a second glance, so far as I know, over a period of 3 months (census work). I was fairly well dressed, though I didn’t have a cell. While I’ve been attacked a few times in my life, it was never with the intent to rob.

I’ll say someone might try something after a few days to a week, but there are so many variables that’s a seriously WAG.

My original hometown (outer-suburban Boston) just didn’t have the population density or the nightlife to make muggings that common. If I were trying to get mugged, I’m not even sure where I’d go.

Now in Tokyo, it’s a different story. It’s crowded and full of nighttime activity, but I’ve still never been mugged despite plenty of late-night back-alley forays in varying states of inebriation. I know if I really tried, I could get someone to mug me, but it would probably require harrassing people until they lost their tempers.

Replace the drums with Prada bags and you can go to Shibuya to see 10,000 people doing just that. :smiley:

Weird! I was just thinking about my late-night experiences in Tokyo and the Ginza district when I happened upon this thread and Sublight’s post.

I too have staggered around at odd hours in Tokyo, lost and drunkenly looking for trouble. And while I did encounter little groups of youths in back alleys smoking cigarettes and looking furtivly at me, nobody ever bothered me. Probably looking for easier pickings in a tipsy sarariman or just unsure of what to make of the staggering, snarling gaijin.

As for my town, the newspaper’s “Police Blotter” says it all: Tools stolen from the back of a pickup truck, stolen bicycle, drunk asleep in the park, domestic disturbance… yawn.

I’ve never been mugged in Dublin, despite, in my younger days, often not being able to remember how I got home. People do get mugged but it’s not as common as the newspapers would have you believe.

However, if you’re just looking for a fight without the robbery, there are parts of town which offer ample opportunity on weekend nights. Mostly these are inter-headcase confrontations but anyone could become involved if they’re not careful. Late night snack food establishments are particular hotspots. Happily though, there are plenty of parts of town where you couldn’t get attacked if you tried and these are the places you would want to socialise in anyway.

Re the OP, I lived and worked in Brixton for a few months in 1990 and never had any trouble at all. Of course, in those days I looked more like a mugger than a muggee. All the same, I reckon that you’d have a better chance of being mugged, or at least pickpocketed, in the West End than in Brixton. The opportunities for street criminals would be much better there.

I’m not sure if the city I live in even HAS a ‘rough neighborhood’ - Richardson is a fairly thoroughly middle-class suburb of Dallas. There are parts of Dallas proper that I’m pretty sure I would get mugged rather quickly in if I was acting like the guy in the OP.

There were neighborhoods in the town I used to live in (Greenville, TX) where you wouldn’t need the laptop and phone - just being a white guy would make you fair game.

My husband was mugged at a drive-up ATM machine in a parking lot near his office. He hadn’t pulled quite close enough to the machine, so he was standing outside the car doing his withdrawal. Some guy came up and demanded the money. My husband was pretty pissed about work anyway, and he punched the guy. Mugger went down, hubby got in car and drove to work.

Does that count as a mugging?