Because of its many hotels, casinos, museums, and other attractions, Las Vegas, Nevada, is a destination for people from around the world. Unfortunately, all those visitors can also attract criminals. Here are some tips for staying safe while you have fun in this famous city.
Stay Near Tourist Areas
Police officers patrol the Strip and other tourist areas frequently, making them fairly safe. If you notice very few people around, consider moving to a more populated location. Even if a stranger seems nice, don’t let them lead you to a hotel room or a dark alley. Some criminals work as a team. One person leads the potential victim to a secluded area, and the other commits the crime.
If you fly to Las Vegas, take a cab, shuttle bus, rideshare, or rental car to your hotel. Many places are within walking distance of the airport, but driving is much safer. The route isn’t safe for pedestrians, and criminal activity increases after dark. Whether you use a rental car or public transportation, don’t leave any valuable items in the vehicle. Park in a well-lit area or a parking deck with security guards. Many hotels are happy to provide an escort to your car if you feel unsafe.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
If you notice anything strange or have a bad feeling about a person or a place, go somewhere safer. If you see an altercation nearby, leave the area. You can enjoy a few drinks, but make sure you don’t get drunk unless you’re with someone sober who can keep you safe.
Only accept drinks from bartenders or servers. If someone offers to buy you a drink, the bartender should make it and hand it to you. Some criminals try to slip sedatives into people’s drinks to make robbery or assault easier. For this reason, order drinks with a lid and a straw when possible. If you leave your drink unattended for any reason, even just for a few minutes, order a fresh one.
You might consider sticking to your hotel’s bar and casino. These places usually have lots of security, and you won’t have to worry about driving when it’s time to call it a night. To find the best attractions without getting lost, use your phone’s navigation app.
Recreational marijuana is legal in Nevada for people over 21. Remember that cannabis today is much stronger than it was a few decades ago. If you haven’t smoked or used edibles recently, be cautious and don’t overdo it. While not as common as overdoses for heroin and other drugs, a marijuana overdose could put you in the hospital.
Protect Your Possessions
If you use a purse, a crossbody bag is best. You can wear it when you sit down to play cards or enjoy a drink, making it more difficult for a criminal to take from you. If you use a wallet, keep it in your front pocket. This makes you a more difficult target for pickpockets. When you go out, keep one or two credit cards, cash, and a copy of the front and back of your driver’s license inside your locked suitcase. That way, you won’t be stranded if anything happens. Use a suitcase with a hard shell no one can cut into.
If you win big at a casino, you might have the urge to shout with joy and let everyone around you know about your good luck. Unfortunately, that can make you a target for criminals. After you win, cash out calmly and don’t boast to fellow gamblers. Ask for a cashier’s check you can deposit in your bank instead of cash.
You can also prevent unwanted attention from criminals by avoiding expensive outfits or jewelry. If you do wear your best pieces of jewelry, make sure they’re insured, and stay in places with plenty of security. If you buy expensive items while shopping in Las Vegas, keep the Do Not Disturb sign on the door and leave the light on to make it look like someone is in the room. Always close and lock your door, and don’t answer it when you’re not expecting room service, cleaning, or a visit from a friend.
Take a Self-Defense Class
A basic self-defense course can help you learn how to respond in an emergency. You can practice with an instructor to find out how to keep dangerous situations from escalating and defend yourself against an attacker if needed.
For example, you can use your keys or a pen as a weapon in a pinch. Spraying aerosol hairspray or pepper spray in someone’s eyes can make them pause long enough for you to run away. Of course, resisting isn’t always the best option. If multiple people are confronting you or if they have a weapon, it’s usually best to give up your cash or jewelry rather than risk getting hurt.
Many unlicensed street vendors sell counterfeit or overpriced items, and food vendors might sell items that are unsafe to eat. Some vendors also host shell games or other unofficial games. These are usually scams. An actor will win to attract new gamblers, then the new participants lose their money. You might also encounter people trying to sell fake illegal drugs or get your investment in a moneymaking opportunity. If you want to support small businesses, attend one of the many art and craft fairs in the area or check out the city’s interesting antique stores.
Stay in Touch With Friends and Family
If possible, explore the city with a friend. Keep your friends and family members up to date about your trip. Let them know when they should expect a call from you and which places you plan to visit each day.
To learn more about how to stay safe in this great city, contact us at De Castroverde Criminal & Immigration Lawyers. We can help you improve your peace of mind, enjoy your trip, and comply with local laws.