Bloomington Police tell citizens to take precautions when walking at night

By WEEK Reporter

Bloomington Police tell citizens to take precautions when walking at night

July 29, 2013 Updated Jul 29, 2013 at 3:46 PM CDT

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. -- The Bloomington Police Department said Monday that they have been seeing an increase in Aggravated Battery incidents.

Police say the incidents are occurring between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. The victims all reported that they were walking alone when attacked.

Police say the suspects traveled in groups of three or more and have been described as black males in their late teens or early twenties. The majority of the incidents have occurred on the west side of Bloomington.

Authorities say the suspects demand money and then physically batter the victims.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Bloomington Police Department at 309-434-2963.

The Bloomington Police Department urged citizens to take precautions to avoid being an easy target, and follow the safety tips listed below.

 Stay on well-lit, highly-traveled streets.
 Walk close to the curb, away from shrubbery, buildings and other dark places where a would-be attacker could be hidden.
 Avoid taking shortcuts through wooded areas, unfamiliar neighborhoods, parking lots or alleys.
 Avoid walking alone.
 Don’t carry or flash around a lot of cash, expensive jewelry or electronics.
 Don’t allow someone to distract you, as criminals sometimes work in pairs. One may ask you for directions fake an injury or beg for money. The other one may be out of your sight, but ready to overpower you.
 If you believe someone is following you, immediately cross the street or switch direction. Walk toward or into an open business and if provoked, scream for help.
 Have your car or house key in your hand as you approach the door.
 Don’t wear headphones when walking late at night. You will be distracted from hearing what’s around and behind you.

If You Are Attacked

 Remain calm and try not to panic.
 If the attacker is only after your purse, wallet, or valuables, do not resist. You don’t want to escalate a property crime into a violent physical confrontation. Your property can be replaced.
 Make a conscious effort to get an accurate description of the suspect, such as age, race, complexion, body build, height, weight, type and color of clothing.
 Call the police immediately, providing your name and location. Remain until help arrives.