By Brian New

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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The chances of falling victim to a violent crime are statistically low, but it happens.

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Last month, a woman was beaten and carjacked in a downtown Dallas parking garage. A few days later three people attacked a mother outside NorthPark Center and tried to force her in to their car. Then, last week off of Greenville Avenue, another unsuspecting woman feared for her life as she was robbed at gunpoint in the parking lot after leaving a restaurant.

“People want to have that knowledge to protect themselves and their families just in case,” said Jason Hanson, founder of Spy Escape and Evasion.

As a former CIA officer, Hanson is trained to get out of all sorts of trouble. He’s now sharing what’s he’s learned with his training courses and his book, “Spy Secrets That Can Save Your Life”.

With his help here’s our top five safety tips most don’t know but should.

1. What to do if think someone is following you

If you feel like someone is following you, what you want to do is pause, turn around, and then look directly at that person.

Criminals are looking for easy and unsuspecting targets. By looking at them, you’ve eliminated any element of surprise.

Hanson said then, with your head-up, call someone to tell someone you think you’re being followed and make sure that suspicious person can hear your conversation.

“When you watch Hollywood movies they say you are supposed to put your head down and you see the woman sheepishly running away,” said Hanson. “That makes them look weak and an easy victim – the last thing you want to do.”

2. Carry a tactical pen

It may look like any other pen, but it’s made of high-grade aluminum with sharp points at the bottom that can be used for self-defense. Most tactical pens can also be used as a glass breaker in case of an emergency where you’re needing to break your car window.

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“Most people carry a pen anyways, so why not carry a pen that can save your life,” Hanson asked.

3. How to prevent being carjacked

Experts say when walking to your car don’t be on your cell phone and have your keys in your hand.

Once out on the road and at a stop light, ask yourself, ‘Can I see the tires of the vehicle in front of me?’ It’s important to give yourself enough room to get around that vehicle in case someone approaches your window and you need to get away. Hanson said you don’t want to find yourself boxed-in. He said remember the motto: People who move — live.

4. Where the stay at a hotel

When traveling the next time you book a hotel room ask to stay between floors three and six.
Hanson said criminals usually target rooms on the first two floors because it’s quicker access for them to get down the stairs.

The reason you don’t want to be above the sixth floor is because most fire rescue ladders can’t reach that high.

When traveling alone, Hanson also recommends travelers always ask for two keys. He said you don’t want a potential criminal to overhear you at the front desk and think you’re an easy target because you’re alone.

5. How to get out of duct tape

If a criminal is going to restrain you during a home invasion or kidnapping, crime experts say most often they use duct tape. You can pull on the tape all you want, it’s not going to break. The key is the angle. What you want to do is raise your hands above you head and in one quick motion bring them down and to the side of your hips.

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