Facepalm Security: The Baseball Game Purse

I like quirky blog series and with the revitalized Security In Five blog I am creating a new one I am calling Facepalm Security. This series of posts won’t be regular but will be from my real life experiences. My observational skills with a security lens may have me writing more posts than I think but we’ll see.

This is a true story.

My son plays on a travel baseball team. When you have a kid on travel baseball you watch a lot of baseball and you get really familair with the other parents and families. Over the course of a season we played close to 50 games this year… these are 11 year olds. Anyway, as a team you get to be a crew and other teams are the same way. Familiar with each other.

At games you generally occupy a physcial space along with other parents and team friendly attendees. That means you can be slightly more loose with your personal belongings. Your chairs, wagons, coolers, tents and maybe bags with more personal items in them. You build a trust within that circle to protect your items if you step away or are focused on the game.

Although your personal space may have a sense of safety and security the rest of the park and the participants may not be as trustworthy. These places are still open to the public, people come and go and all it takes is a few seconds for things to vanish.

The photo in this post is one I took of a unattended wagon. After a long season I know what parent’s had what wagons and bag, this was not from our team. It had a cooler, chair, a bag and a large nice looking purse. That wagon sat there for over an hour with no one near it, I was standing in front of it. The water fountains had lots of traffic, kids all over, and whoever this belonged to never went to it. Even if they did I had no way to know if that was the real owner.

There was a large level of trust that all the people there wouldn’t mess with it. Maybe there was nothing of value in the purse or bag, like money, but if there was a driver’s license, credit card or other identity information that has value to the right criminal.

There was nothing to stop me from going behind the wagon, hidden from the wall, slide the purse out and walk away around the building to my car. I could wait until a thrilling play on the field to make a move and away I go.

The walk to the car would be uneventful, no one would stop and question why a guy was walking with a purse to the parking lot. Baseball games like that guys are walking around with purses, diaper bags, dragging wagons, carrying chairs and I would just blend in.

Luckily no one messed with it, probably because I was stading with a few fellow dads in front of it watching the games.

This is a Facepalm Security because this is a prime example of ‘crime of opportunity’. It’s there, unattended, in the open and a quick smooth move and it’s gone. Heck, someone could have wheeled the whole wagon away without anyone thinking twice as long as the onwers never saw you take it.

Never assume. Eventually that one quick lapse of judgement will be exploited and you’ll end up paying for it.

Be aware, be safe.


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