In addition to being traumatic, a mugging can result in the loss of possessions with emotional value as well as credit cards, cell phones, and other expensive items. Numerous police departments offer recommendations on what to do during a mugging to avoid physical harm and maximize the potential of retrieving your lost goods. The most important thing to do during a mugging is to stay calm and keep your head. Being able to think logically can prevent you from getting into a worse situation.
Being able to avoid mugging altogether is the first step. Because muggings tend to follow certain patterns, people can avoid victimhood by traveling smart. Try to avoid being alone on the street or on public transit between 8:00 PM and 2:00 AM. Travel with a group after dark, and stick to well lighted areas where there are other people around. Make sure that your valuables are hidden and secured, as well. Keep things like cell phones, cameras, and personal music players out of sight and out of temptation.
It is very important to be aware of your surroundings, and be especially alert when you reach cross streets or areas with poor lighting. If you feel you are particularly at risk for assault or mugging, you may want to consider taking a self defense class. Numerous urban areas have self defense courses at minimal cost. You can learn basic ways to defend yourself, as well as the best way to carry yourself on the street to project a confident, secure image.
If you are caught in a mugging despite your precautions, the safest thing to do is to comply with the mugger's requests. A mugging can turn ugly, especially if the mugger has a knife or gun. If asked to empty your bag or pockets, obey calmly. Remember: you can stop payment on credit cards and file a stolen phone report with your cellular phone provider, so it is better to simply let go of these items. Respond neutrally to any questions the mugger asks, and be non-confrontational. Try to end your interaction as quickly as possible and get somewhere safe.
During the mugging, make note of your mugger's distinguishing features. Try to remember what he or she is wearing, as well as hair color, eye color if visible, and any distinctive tattoos, scars, or abnormalities. If you can estimate height and weight, try to do so. As soon as you have reached a safe area, get in contact with the local police to make a report. The more details you can provide, the easier it will be to catch the thief.