Don’t walk alone at night. Lock your car. Don’t answer the door if you’re not expecting company. Fine. But at the end of the day, there’s only so much you can do to protect yourself.
This piece is based on an AskReddit question. Link on the last page.
1. The nose knows.
When I was a teenager, I worked at a coffeeshop. It was a pretty low-key location, and most of the staff went to high school with me. One night, a couple of us were closing up when I noticed a funny smell. The supervisor decided we should go and wait outside. Well, it turns out one of my co-workers was actually trying to kill the girl I was closing up with that night. The two of them had been dating, and she had broken things off. In response, he caused a gas leak while we were working. He easily could have killed us all.
2. DNA TBD.
Found my biological father after years of searching. After a few years of building a relationship he started talking about wanting to put me in his will. His wife at the time suggested a paternity test just to be sure. Got one of the swab in cheek ones. The thing comes with three swabs. After he and I swabbed she packed it all up, went into town to mail it in. Test came back negative.
I was living with them at the time due to financial trouble. She kicked me out. A few weeks later she had a mental breakdown and during her episode admitted she had replaced my swab with her own. Yeah, he’s my father, and she tried to fake a DNA test to rob me of my family.
3. Achievement: unlocked.
I had stuff stolen out of my car. I left it unlocked. My fault, I’m dumb and was distracted. Nothing major was stolen, just an iPod touch, but the most messed up part of it was that they flipped over my drinks I had left in the cupholder earlier.
I went to get my napkins and found that they actually stole my napkins! They flipped my drink over and then took my napkins so I couldn’t clean it up. That’s some sadistic stuff.
4. Wow. Close call.
Had someone spike my drink. Luckily I was drinking so slowly that I realized something was up. I was naive and thought I was just having a bad reaction to Malibu though. I was describing the symptoms of my “allergic reaction” years later to a friend, and he was like “Yeah, someone spiked your drink.”
5. Death is a highway.
I was driving through rural Oregon with a couple of buddies on Spring Break, on a stretch of highway with one lane in each direction. We were stuck in a line of cars behind a woman who was driving a little slowly. We hit a stretch where passing was allowed, so I moved over and sped up so I could get around her.
She sped up too. And she wouldnt let me merge back into the lane.
I was driving a Civic with three big guys in the car so I couldn’t go faster than her. OK, I thought, be that way. I slowed back down to get back behind her.
She slowed down too. She wasn’t going to let me back in.
The passing lane was coming to an end and I was starting to get a little nervous. I tried to catch her eye to indicate that she had to let me in and noticed she was staring at me, smiling.
I looked forward and realized a semi was coming straight towards me. I jerked left, onto the shoulder of the oncoming lane, and missed the semi by a few feet. The cars behind this awful woman had seen the whole thing and let me in between them, and she exited shortly after trying to kill me.
I only drive fast cars now and when I pass people I try to do it before they notice I’m doing it.
6. No returns.
Someone stole my old crappy bike. But it was alright, because my parents actually promised to buy me a new one. But then the thief brought my bike back and left it in my front yard. So not only did they steal my old bike, the also kind of stole my new bike too.
7. Thank God for the sternum.
I was stabbed while bouncing (working as security) at a bar. It required emergency surgery to close up an artery and the knife stopped just shy of puncturing my lung. My friend, also bouncing, was stabbed over his heart, but his sternum stopped the blade. That’s probably what caused the stabber to slice his own fingers open, which lead to finding him and the conviction.
He was charged with attempted murder, along with a bunch of other things. He was convicted of at least some of those charges and did 6 years.
8. I guess Santa is technically a burglar too…
I had my car window broken in college.
They stole contacts that nobody except me has a use for. It isn’t like there is a thriving black market for $1 contact lenses, is there? They also stole a phone charger. They left the change. They also left me a McDonalds bag, but they only ate half of their fries, so I guess were even.
9. That’s not even close to worth it.
I lived in a first floor apartment. I was playing video games after work in my bedroom when I started hearing noises in the room next door.
I assumed the noise was the cat. The noises got louder so I finally got up to investigate. There was a fellow hanging through the window going through my Rubbermaid containers that were right underneath the window sill. I said, “Can I help you with something?”
He looked at me sheepishly and took off running. I called the police just to let them know and they couldn’t have cared less and made me feel stupid for bothering to call. The guy ended up breaking into several units in the building later that day.
10. Check, mate.
Dated an ex-exotic dancer. Sex was great, she was cool. I trusted her for the most part. She had me believing she was working two jobs.
Imagine my surprise when I open my online bank statement and notice three checks made out to “cash” and not in my hand writing. The woman signed her own name on the back of the check. Luckily the clerks (she went to three different banks) took her DL# on each visit.
11. All in the family.
A family member broke the lock on my lockbox that was hidden in my room and took all of my cash ($400) and my prescription of pain pills. I was 17 and had been saving that money out of my paycheck, and the pills were because I had just been in a car accident and had a fractured spine.
12. It’s a tree country.
I live in Florida. One night, some sad person tagged/graffitied my palm tree. The city came by and painted the trunk brown, but you know It still looks weird. I guess the real victim here is the tree.
13. Baby napping.
My mom was a teenager when she had me, and her mom was convinced that she wouldn’t be able to care for me. She insisted that my mom allow her to adopt me when I was a toddler. My mom, having suffered years of abuse by my grandma told her no. So my grandma decided to take matters into her own hands.
A few weeks later my grandfather, who my mom was still on speaking terms with, asked my mom for permission to take me to the park. My mom agreed on the condition that my grandmother not be there. You can guess what happened. My grandparents immediately took me into Mexico.
By the time my mom realized something was wrong, we were already across the border. My mom called the police, who immediately told her there was nothing they could do. She called the Tijuana police, who told her that an American baby was not their problem.
About two weeks later my mom got a call from her sister’s husband, informing her that my grandparents were back in town to get some things from their house and to run errands, so they dropped me off with them. My aunt was on my grandparents side and refused to tell my mom, so her husband snuck out to call.
My parents by this point had formed a small group of my dad’s friends and were about to leave to kidnap me back, so they all rushed over to my aunt’s house instead. The guys broke down the door and held all three of my aunts back until my mom found me in a back bedroom and got me out of there. I know what kind of woman my grandmother was, so I’m terrified to think about what would have happened if my parents hadn’t gotten me back.
14. To your credit.
$30K in fraudulent credit card charges, all over two days at a hotel in another country. The nice thing about this crime is that in one phone call it becomes the bank’s problem, not mine.
I didn’t know about it until my card was denied at a checkout. It was my business credit card and should have had plenty of room on it. I called the bank and was told I was way over the $20K limit. The last several charges were at a hotel in Sweden, for amounts ranging from $5,000 to $10,000.
They connected me to the fraud department, who had basic questions about who might have possibly used my card. Once they believed I had nothing to do with the charges I was off the hook and never heard about it again.
15. Truck off.
My parents, sister, and I were leaving town on our way to Texas to visit my other sister and her husband. It was about 5 am and I was sleeping in the car so I didn’t see or remember anything before it happened.
A semi truck, which was being driven by a drunk trucker, crashed into the back of our car, and stopped about a foot from where I was sleeping. If he had been going 5 MPH faster, he wouldn’t have stopped so quickly, and I would have been crushed to death.
I’m a lucky man.
16. I never want to go to a bar again.
A couple years back, I got out of work and met up with some friends at the bar, and offered to pick up a round. I ordered a draft beer for me and a bottled beer for a girl who was with my friends, since she was the only one who needed one.
Next thing I know, I’m coming to hours later in a ditch next to the bike path with a couple broken fingers, and no memory of what happened shortly after that drink. I had all the cash I’d come with, and my tab was still open at the bar with only those two drinks on it. My guess is someone intended to drug my female colleague but ended up drugging me instead. Absolutely terrifying.
17. Insult to injury.
This happened to my grandma years ago. She lives with my mother and she is so polite that she will be extra forthcoming to anyone who says hi to her even if she has no clue who they are. Even more, she will open the door for people claiming they know her or my mom.
Two guys and a woman took advantage of that. They asked about my mom. She wasn’t there. So my grandma let them in to wait for her. They knew some details about her life so they could make up some conversation. She offered juice and coffee. One on them asked for the restroom. He went to my mother’s room and stole jewellery. However, the guy also used the bathroom. He pooped, clogged the toilet, and didnt bother to fix it. They just left. Seriously, dude.
18. An eye for an iPhone.
This happened in April 2015.
I just left my friend’s house, I’m drunk, waiting for my bus to go back home. It’s 1am. I’m listening to music, minding my own business. I’m the only one at the bus stop for a good fifteen minutes. Suddenly this guy appears out of nowhere next to me and asks me something.
I can’t hear because of my headphones. I take them off, my iPhone in my right hand and say “Sorry?” He replies “Can I…” and grabs my iPhone at the speed of light and runs away, crossing the big empty boulevard. Without thinking I start running after him, screaming at the top of my lungs. I shouldnt have done that.
He goes straight to the parking lot facing the bus stop and jumps in his car. I open the rear door, it’s unlocked thank god and I jump in. He comes out of the car, opens my door, pulls me out like I’m a piece of cloth and he jumps right in, but I get the time to jump back in the rear seat. He starts driving, turns left twice and goes like 70-80 km/h in a residential street. At this point I’m scared to death. I start crying uncontrollably. I take out 80$ and try to negotiate with him (yeah stupid idea ).
“Here’s $80 please take it, you can give me my iPhone back.”
“Give me the $80.”
“NO give me my iPhone back and I’ll give you $80, you can steal money from someone else and get enough cash to buy a brand new iPhone.
He tries to reach the money I’m holding, so I put it back in my wallet. I get extremely angry because he doesn’t care. I hit him several times in the head but not too much, because I know that he’ll knock me out in a single hit if he tries to. I start screaming non stop. From this point until the end of the attack, I never stop screaming. We were surrounded by houses so I wanted someone to wake up and call the police.
He gets out of his car and tries to pull me out. I hold the top of the front seat as hard as I can but he’s strong as an ox and manages to pull me out.
He then tries to strangle me by putting his arm around my neck. I stop moving to make him believe he knocked me out. He leaves me there, open the rear door to lock it and goes back to the front seat. I get the time to stand up, hold his door before he closes it, and I sit on him. He starts driving fast again, the door is open. If he pushes me, I fall out and get crushed under the wheels and I die.
I honk the horn nonstop, or at least try to. He puts one of his hand on my mouth so I stop screaming but I bite one of his fingers. Then he crushes my fingers so I stop honking. Its possibly the worst pain I ever felt. I turn my head a bit and his face is really close to mine so I spit on him. I scream at him “You like spit huh???” Im incoherent, just screaming and wailing for my life.
I try to brake the car without success. Then he crashes into a parked car, but not enough to stop us completely. He goes back on the street and starts driving fast again. After 2-3 more minutes of struggle the police arrives, screaming at him “LET HER GO! LET HER GO! I get out of the car, crying, shaking, everything. They arrest him, I fill out a report, get my iPhone back. I even get my headphones and glasses back that fell out on the ground when I ran after him in the parking lot.
I shouldnt have chased after him, but I cant help being a little proud that I fought back. If I hadnt, he would have gotten away.