“I can’t believe this happened here!”

I can’t believe this happened here! Every time an incident happens and the news interviews someone nearby, you hear that statement over and over again. Why? People always seem so surprised that bad things and bad people live in their “nice neighborhood”. Do you really know your neighbors? All of them?

One time, while looking for a house to purchase when we lived in California, I decided to look up various crimes that have happened around that address. Nothing came up until I hit the jackpot on a sexual offender list. A repeat sexual offender lived 2 houses away from the house we’d just looked at. It was a “nice neighborhood” in Silicon Valley. Of course we looked elsewhere!

I live in the Bastrop, Texas area. Bastrop is one of the top 15 crime cities in all of Texas, coming in at #11. We live 9 miles outside of town in the country so feel safe and fairly insulated. But, we are never careless and always paying attention. Just the other day, after searching for crime stats and articles in the Bastrop area, the following articles were found very quickly.

Crime articles for my area

The 15 Most Dangerous Cities In Texas: 2022’s Ultimate List – Upgraded Home

Former Bastrop shelter caretaker accused of exploiting girls not indicted by grand jury (fox7austin.com)

Harker Heights man dies after being found shot in car in Bastrop County (fox7austin.com)

Former Smithville ISD teacher arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting teen (fox7austin.com)

Austin man added to Texas 10 Most Wanted Sex Offenders list (fox7austin.com)

Man charged for stabbing Bastrop Co. deputy multiple times at Austin H-E-B (fox7austin.com)

Bastrop, Texas is a bedroom community 35 miles outside of Austin, Texas. Austin is the most expensive city in all of Texas so people are moving out in droves and looking for a less expensive place. Lots of people moving in also look a little further out and commute into the city by car. Bastrop is a nice place to live and I enjoy it here. People are very nice, there are great restaurants and the city has a vibrant cultural scene. But, Bastrop has several issues. It’s known as a mecca for meth production. There are several jails in our county including federal, state, county and local. And like all places, impacted greatly by the pandemic and large corporations moving into our area driving up real estate prices. If you search your area, chances are, your results will be very similar to mine.

Have a plan

I won’t be surprised when something inevitable happens in my area. How do I cut down my odds of being a crime victim? I have a LOT of training about situational awareness, defensive training, and how to not become a victim. These are classes that I teach regularly helping others become more situationally aware. Here are some simple tips to reduce your chances of becoming a victim:

  • When in public PUT YOUR PHONE UP!
  • When entering a convenience store glance in the windows BEFORE walking in
  • Join FB community boards for information ie. emergency management, neighborhood boards, etc.
  • Only do errands at night when there is no other choice
  • Know when the shift change is at your PD. Walmart parking lots are notorious for crimes at that time
  • Don’t let yourself be distracted when walking to and fro and about. Pay attention.
  • Walk with a purpose
  • Educate yourself by taking classes in awareness, martial arts, etc.
  • If you plan to carry a firearm, get proper training


In short, look like someone that is paying attention, will put up a fight, make a lot of noise, etc. If you are on your phone, criminals can get the jump on you with zero notice. According to criminals interviewed, If you look like work, you are much less likely to be prey.

Things happen all the time all over. Living in a “nice neighborhood” is no insulator to things happening around you. Being aware doesn’t mean living in fear or paranoia. In fact, the opposite happens. Being aware puts you in control. Makes it much less likely for you to be caught up in an incident. And, by being aware you can go about your every day business confident that you are really cutting your chances of being chosen as a victim.

Want to learn more? We offer classes on Situational Awareness, Developing a Home and Personal Security Plan, Refuse to be a Victim and more! A list of all the classes we offer here at Southern Charm Firearms Academy can be found here:


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