SBPD seeing uptick in robberies; learn how to protect yourself - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

SBPD seeing uptick in robberies; learn how to protect yourself

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South Bend Police say overall crime is down this year, including murders.

That's good news, right?

Well there is one glaring statistic that has the department taking a closer look.

There have been 24 more robberies this year, compared to the same time last year.

That averages to one more robbery a week and we're not talking about hold-ups at conveniences stores.

It's person on person robberies that involve anyone just walking down the street.

So we went to the experts to get some unique tips on how to protect yourself.

Todd Brown at Midwest Martial Arts is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, a two-time UFC veteran and a professional MMA competitor, but he also teaches the average person how to defend themselves in a dangerous situation.

"To cause enough pain and discomfort to get out of the situation and move on to get help," says Brown.

But first things first, Brown says the best way to avoid becoming a victim of robbery, is to be aware of your surroundings.

"There are some locations that are more safe than other locations. So be aware of where you're going. We advocate the buddy system," says Brown.

The South Bend Police Department has the same advice.

Captain Phil Trent says the internet could be responsible for the uptick.

"Somebody's trying to sell an item and they lure a would-be buyer to where they're out of their element and now they fall victim to a robbery.We've seen several of those over the past couple of months," says Trent.

Trent says the department is looking at ways to combat the rise in robberies, like with extra patrols and surveillance.

We don't want to think about it, but police say a robbery can happen to anyone at anytime and if you find yourself in the situation, experts say, don't be a hero.

"Just say, you can have my money, I don't want any problems, be calm, let them have it and get away," says Randy Johnson, who teaches at The Dragon's Lair in South Bend.

Johnson says you can also prepare a fake wallet to turn over to a thief.

"Maybe have ten singles in there, an old credit card. Don't have anything with personal information in there, scratch it off or whatever," says Johnson.

Experts say sometimes getting away from a robber will require some force, and in that case there are a few small things you can do to protect yourself.

"Nobody likes a finger in the eye, nobody likes nobody likes anything in their nose, nobody likes a fish hook in their mouth. Nobody likes their hair pulled," says Brown.

If that ends up being the case, both Brown and Johnson say it's best to get some training and practice before trying to fight off an attacker.

The Dragon's Lair offers free self defense seminars and classes. For more information, call 574-312-0140.

Midwest Martial Arts also offers self defense classes. You can learn more at 574-968-4181.

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