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Self-defense expert shares safety tips after Vegas tourists were robbed at ATM

Couple was robbed, shot at Chinatown bank
Posted at 12:24 PM, Jan 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-28 22:45:17-05

UPDATE: A local self-defense expert is sharing tips on how to protect yourself while using an ATM.

“I hate these ATM’s, I can't stand them, they are a bad guy's dream,” says Donavin Britt, a local self-defense instructor.

Britt says that ATM's are a prime target for criminals, and that the crooks bank on folks not being aware of their surroundings.

13 Action News met up with Britt at a popular drive-up ATM near Lake Mead & Buffalo, and it didn’t take long for him to notice someone who wasn’t paying attention.

In the middle of our interview, a car pulled up, the driver got out with the engine still running and left their door wide open before walking up to the ATM.

“His back is comely focused on his transaction but he has no idea what’s going one behind him,” says Britt. “With his car running there would be nothing for him to stop me from walking up behind him or taking his vehicle and leaving.”

The man wasn’t the only one that raised Britt’s eyebrows.

Minutes later, Britt noticed a woman not checking her surroundings either.

"Check your back, before you get your money out check your back again, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean people aren’t out to get you,” he told her.

Britt says folks often neglect their first line of protection, the ATM’s mirror.

"A wider strip is going to give you a little bit more visibility, if you come to an ATM and it’s broken or torn down it’s done on purpose. That means they’ve been scouting the area, they don’t want people having an advantage.”

If all else fails, and in the worst case scenario that you are attacked, don't pull away.

“The moment I touch you, the moment I grab you, I want something from you and it’s going to be very difficult to give you a command," says Britt. “Open palm to the nose, hit hit repeat, kick the groin.”

Las Vegas police are investigating an overnight robbery and shooting involving tourists at a bank near Chinatown on Monday.

Officers said a couple visiting from China were attempting to deposit money at a Bank of America branch located at the corner of Spring Mountain and Wynn roads at about 12:30 a.m. when an armed masked man approached them.

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The husband had his money already deposited when the thief confronted him while his wife witnessed the incident from their car, according to police.

The suspect ended up stealing personal property, instead of money, and the victim's wife attempted to strike the robber with the vehicle.

Authorities said the woman was then shot in the neck during this attempt by the suspect before he escaped the scene.

Officers responded to witness calls reporting the gunshots, and they were able to capture the suspect along with recovering a gun and the stolen items.

The injured woman was transported to the hospital and expected to survive while the husband was not injured in the incident, according to police.

Authorities said to be sure of your surroundings and to bank smart when referring to this shooting.

Also, be a good witness and don't fight unless you feel your life is in danger.

If you are witness to a crime be sure to contact law enforcement and report it quickly to the police.

Authorities did not immediately release any information about the suspect arrested.