Street Robbery Safety

Robbery Prevention Starts With You 

A robbery or purse snatch can occur anywhere at any time.

In order to reduce your risk, there are many precautions you can take to prevent that type of crime.

If you know how criminals who commit these crimes operate, it will help you avoid falling victim to them.

Street Robbery Safety

Robberies Frequently Occur:

  • Any location where you are waiting or standing for an extended period of time, such as transit stops

  • At bank machines

  • At cash machines

  • In parking lots and garages

  • Isolated areas

How to preven being targeted:

  • Be aware of your surrondings; whenever possible avoid distractions that require your full attention like listening to loud music, texting and taking phone calls

  • Keep to well-lit areas and avoid unknown shortcuts through isolated areas including parks and green spaces especially when traveling alone

  • Utilize personal safety features when available like security escorts, designated waiting areas, and Request Stop programs on transit systems.

  • Avoid carrying large quantities of cash. Be aware not to broadcast how much money you are carrying with you when
    paying for purchases

  • When getting cash from a bank machine, be alert. Consider using indoor machines or locations that have a clear view and are not hidden.

  • Keep electronics or other valuables concealed and hidden.

  • Avoid letting strangers into your personal space. At the very least, keep them at arms length.


Strategies to stay safe:

  • Let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return 

  • Placing a purse/bag strap around your neck or wrapping it around your wrist could result in serious personal injury if

  • If being followed, cross the street and go directly to the nearest well-lit, populated area. If still being followed, go to an occupied home, business or approach a passerby and seek help. If in a park or other isolated area, take advantage of the presence of a passerby by turning towards the person following you and saying “Are you following me?” in a loud, clear voice

  • Carry your phone and keys separately so you will still be able to call for help/ get into your car or home if you are

If You Are a Victim

If you are the victim of a robbery, do NOT argue, fight or use any weapon. Robbers are unpredictable and resistance in any form may escalate the level of violence.

Your safety is more important than any possession.


  • Give up the item being taken/demanded.
  • Make noise, scream/yell to create witnesses and deter robber
  • Make a mental note of suspect clothing and description - height, weight, age, hair, tattoos, scars, direction of travel, time of robbery, and if any weapons or vehicles were used
  • Call 9-1-1 immediately and find a place of safety until police arrive
  • Seek medical attention if are injured
  • Notify Financial Institutions and Government Agencies of your stolen documents such as:
    • Social Insurance Card, Birth Certificate, Driver’s Licence, Health Card, Passport


  • Argue or fight with the suspect. Robbers are unpredictable and resistance in any form may escalate the level of violence.
  • Chase after the suspect.
  • Use or deploy any type of weapon against the suspect. Even if you are a victim of a crime, you are legally responsible for the amount of force you use on another person


To report a crime anonymously, call Crime Stoppers at: 1-800-222-8477(TIPS) or online at:

In An Emergency: Call 9-1-1.

To report a crime to the Toronto Police that is not an emergency call 416-808-2222.

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