A Pennsylvania woman has shared some of the security advice her Secret Service agent father has given over the years – and how one of his lessons could have saved her life.
Lauren Bell, owner of Cardy Couture Boutique, has gone viral on TikTok after sharing safety-focused quotes from her father.
She then revealed how warnings from her father – who told her to ‘question everything, question everyone’ – led her to notice a man who followed her into a store and eventually escaped as he approached her in the parking lot .
Tips! Lauren Bell, owner of Cardy Couture Boutique, has gone viral on TikTok after sharing security-focused quotes from her secret service agent father
Safety first! Her father said someone you trust should always know where you are
“Start worrying about what’s in your head and not what’s on it,” he told her
Keep them off! If you think someone is following you, just make four right turns – and eventually go in a circle. If they make all those turns too, they will definitely follow you
To pass on her father’s advice, Lauren applied a popular TikTok trend where people write quotes from loved ones on scenic, calm backgrounds and dress them up as fake inspirational quotes.
But Lauren’s father’s advice is anything but common, and the Secret Service agent preaches hyper-alertness at all times.
Wise advice he offered: ‘Nothing good comes after 11 p.m.’
Likewise, he warned to ‘never go for a jog before 8 a.m.’
When he was out, he would tell her, “Keep your head on a dial,” “Never turn your back to the door,” and “Start worrying about what’s in your head and not what’s on it.”
Practically speaking, he only told her to ‘order drinks that come in bottles’ because ‘they are harder to numb.’
Meanwhile, Mace is “ meant to be in your hand, not in your wallet ” – because it would be completely useless if it couldn’t be reached quickly enough.
“Never turn your back to the door,” he told her
Have it ready! Mace, meanwhile, ‘is meant to be held in your hand, not in your wallet’ – because it would be completely useless if it couldn’t be reached quickly enough
Nice: Lauren used a popular TikTok trend where people write quotes from loved ones on scenic, calm backgrounds and dress them up as fake inspirational quotes
“If you think you’re being followed, make four turns to the right,” he told her.
Her father also advised her that ‘headphones should never leave the house’ and ‘someone you trust should always know where you are’.
One tip that has since garnered attention on TikTok is that in general, “ don’t ask men for help ” – the implication is that if a man points out a woman for help, it could be a technique to get her closer and let her guard pockets.
When it comes to travel, Lauren’s father warned that “no one in Miami is your friend” and “there is no such thing as a safe place in New York City.”
Finally, he said to her, “If you’re out shopping and you bump into someone multiple times, it’s probably no coincidence.”
The latter advice proved especially helpful to Lauren, and she went on to tell a story about the time when that nugget of wisdom saved her life.
Danger in the dark: He warned her not to run too early in the morning
Lurking: Likewise, he warned her that ‘nothing good comes after 11 p.m.’
Pay attention! Headphones can be a distraction and make it more difficult to distinguish a threat
Growing up, my dad was always grilling spatial awareness in my head. Always know where you are, ”she says. Question everything, question everyone.
During Labor Day weekend of 2014, Lauren was shopping at Marshall when she saw a man she ran into in different areas of the store.
She also noticed he didn’t have a shopping cart or basket, which she found “weird” and decided to pay more attention.
As she reached the checkout, she got the “strange feeling” that someone was staring down at her from behind, and turned to find the man two people behind her – with only ropes to tie curtains in his hand.
‘I just turn around and just start staring at him. I make eye contact with him. And one of the things my dad taught me was [that] clothing can be removed, hair can be changed, but moles and tattoos are always permanent.
“ So I’m literally looking at this guy head to toe to see if I can find anything on him at all that if something happened to myself or anyone else I could identify him, ” she said, noting that she had a eagle tattoo saw. on his right calf.
Smart! Bottled drinks make it much more difficult for strangers to slip drugs inside
‘Men don’t ask for help’ – the implication is that if a man points out a woman for help, it could be a technique to get her closer and lower her guard
Stay safe! When it comes to travel, Lauren’s father warned that ‘no one in Miami is your friend’ and ‘there is no such thing as a safe place in New York City’
Brilliant: Lauren also described a time when her father’s lessons probably saved her life
The man eventually checked out in front of her in another row and seemed to be gone when she finished her purchase, but she still felt wary.
“Parking lots and parking garages are one of the biggest places women are usually taken,” she said.
As she left the store, she discovered he was hidden nearby and soon followed her. He started talking to her and asked her to come to his car because he wanted her to model for him.
At the time, Lauren was afraid to go to her own car because he could see her license plate, and if he was friends with someone from the police, he could get her address.
Fortunately, at that point another car pulled into the empty parking lot and Lauren ran to it – terrifying the man to run away
‘It just goes to show, guys, things like this can happen anywhere, anytime, at any time of the day. This was a Sunday, 4:45 am, super close to home, and thank goodness I was informed, ‘she said.