We are fortunate enough to live in a country where personal safety isn't necessarily always a prioritized concern. That says a great deal about our law enforcement officers. Thankful for them every single day.
But as we know from reading headlines, East Texans still need to be vigilant and stay aware of our surroundings.
A friend shared a personal story she ran across on a community Facebook group called 'Together Hallsville' where residents can chat, rant, and rave about the goings on in one of our East Texas communities.
One of the members, Rocco Bruno (isn't that such a movie star name?), shared some wise reminders with the Hallsville group--but they're important for us all to keep in mind. Not only is Bruno a dedicated member of the Harrison County Sheriff's Office, just a few months ago, he faced a sincere safety concern head on that affected his family.
Here's what happened:
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His wife was carrying their 5-month-old baby out to their car in the Longview Wal-Mart on 4th Street. She noticed there were several shopping carts around her car, flushly placed to block 3 of her 4 car doors.
Bruno's wife, alert to such potential dangers, looked around and noticed two men in a red truck were looking at her directly--yikes. Every woman's nightmare. 
She began to move the shopping carts aside when one of the men got of the truck and began proceeding toward her. The nightmare worsens.
Bruno's wife decided to call a co-worker of his, since he wasn't at leisure to answer his phone. Worried for her safety, she put the co-worker--also in law enforcement--on speaker phone so that the approaching man from the truck could hear her talking with an officer.
Upon hearing the conversation, assumedly, the man went back to his vehicle and sped away.
Rocco Bruno's assessment of the situation based upon his knowledge of these types of scenarios? He believes there's a strong possibility the men were waiting for her to let go of her own shopping cart to move the ones that had been placed in front of her car doors in order to steal her groceries--or worse yet, steal the car. Or worse... you get the idea.
Bruno went on to share some safety tips to help all of us avoid this situation:
1. If you see something suspicious around your vehicle in the parking lot--such as this one--don't assume it's chance. It's quite possibly a set up.
2. "If you are already in your car and you happen to see something on your windshield, drive to a different area, and then remove it. If you fell the need to remove it right then and there, get out, SHUT YOUR DOOR, lock it and then remove the item."
Why does he recommend this? Because often when this happens, potential criminals  are waiting for you to get out of your car and leave your door open. While you're busy removing the "thing" from your windshield, there's a chance the crim may hop in your car and drive off.
3. "Be safe, Be vigilant and Be aware of your surroundings. If something seems out of place, most likely it’s out of place for a reason."
Thanks for sharing the wisdom, Officer Bruno. We're so glad your wife is safe--and surrounding savvy.

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