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You don’t need to be violent in nature to understand the nature of violence. Most of us strive to do right, settle our conflicts peacefully, and live in “safe neighborhoods”. Violent crime is something confined to the realm of bad television and tall tales. Recently on the east side of San Jose we have been seeing a string of bold and violent robberies of elderly women. See below for the videos.

Lt. Col. Dave Grossman uses a model to explain the 3 types of people: 1% of the population is made of wolves, 1% are the sheepdogs like you and I, and the remaining 98% are sheep, whose mechanism of protection is denial. Many ballads have been sung over the toothy protector and his nemesis, but today let’s understand the sheep, the victim from this series of crimes.


First, to understanding these property crimes, realize that they are not property crimes. They are the “negotiation” of social hierarchy. You see, in a robbery the robber doesn’t take your purse, he takes HIS purse which you just happened to be holding. In the first video a man dramatizes how the robber tried to rip the victim’s arm off- horse shit. The victim is small and frail (purposefully selected as such) and no match physically for a young and healthy male, she almost caused her own arm to be ripped off by trying to hold onto a purse which at this point had become his. He wasn’t trying to rip her arm off, he was trying to rip his purse from her arm. Put yourself in the shoes of the predator to understand his behavior. You can’t stop crime, but you can influence whether or not you become prey.

Statistically speaking, there are more sheep than wolves, and only a few as we’ll mention get eaten, so for the most part simply pretending that bad things only happen to others will serve you very nicely for a long time, until you get eaten, at which point it is no longer your problem. Statistically speaking, you’re also not reading this article, but here you are.

Imagine two boys playing in a room. Inevitably one will be bigger or bolder or both, and if he decides arbitrarily that the yellow toy truck is superior to the red toy truck, and decides to claim the yellow one as his to play with, what happens? Nothing. This is absolutely normal within the scope of human interaction. Yes of course property crime is motivated by property, but prey selection is about power, and power is about Darwinistic survival in an unfair world. Which sheep does the wolf choose to prey upon? It doesn’t take a degree to realize that the old, weak, young, sick, injured, pregnant, or preoccupied sheep get isolated from the herd, and eaten. Know when you are at risk, recognize when you are about to be isolated in the same room with a bigger and bolder bully, and work to avoid that mix.

What does all this abstract sociology mean for us here and now? It means if you have loved ones who are in the above mentioned at risk categories, you must encourage them to become vigilant of their habits and of their surroundings! You can clearly see the elderly victim froze in place, wasting precious seconds as her assailant ran to her, while she struggled to process her denial at what was happening. Denial is for fools, fools get robbed. Don’t be a fool. Awareness is the first step in not being selected as prey. As my sensei Massad Ayoob would say, “Know where the attack comes from, have a countermeasure in place.”

Above all else, simply being aware of your status as “at risk” prey, and taking precautions to be alert and travel with companions will do wonders for keeping the wolves eating someone else for dinner. For you as the vigilant sheepdog, share this conversation with your mother, your friends, your children, and everyone you love who you cannot physically be there to protect.

Here is one of the initial videos which surfaced in late 2016: http://kron4.com/2016/11/09/woman-violently-robbed-by-masked-robber-in-front-of-her-san-jose-home

Here is the update January 2017 of the robber’s arrest: http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Arrest-Made-in-String-of-Purse-Snatching-Robberies-in-San-Jose-409732275.html