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Situational Awareness

Gather ’round children, and let me tell you a story about something that happened to me last night. It might have been nothing, or it might have been something, I’ll let you be the judge of that.

I shared this with the Carolina Shooters Club Community a couple nights ago, as I didn’t really think it was much of anything, but after having some crazy dreams about how it could have ended I decided to share it here on the blog.

The Situation (or Non-Situation):

Friday night my fiancé and I left the house around 9pm to run a couple quick errands and hit an ATM for some cash. My fiancé was driving, and we pulled up to the bank right in front and she got out to use the walk up ATM. From where I was sitting in the car, I could see all of the drive thru lanes of the bank, including the drive thru ATM. When we arrived, there was one car at the drive thru ATM, but they left about the time we parked in front.

She got out of the car and walked a short distance to the ATM, and I was in the car waiting for her. After what could have only been about 30 seconds or so, another car pulls through the lane for the drive up ATM, but goes past it, and stops adjacent to the walk up ATM near her.

It was dark, but there appeared to be two males in the vehicle.

As the car was sitting there, I unbuckled my seat belt and opened the car door. As soon as the interior light came on in the car, the other car pulled out of the bank, never having completed any sort of transaction at either ATM.

What do you think? Coincidence? Or were these guys planning something criminal and thought better when they noticed she wasn’t alone?

The Lesson:

I think the biggest lesson from this non-situation for me is to keep my head up and be aware of what is going on around me. I spend a good portion of my day with my head down looking at my phone, and in a situation like this, things could have gotten pretty bad before I even noticed had I been playing with my phone and not paying attention.

Keep your head on a swivel, it’s amazing the things that you will notice that others will not.

About Lucas

Editor/Head Honcho at Triangle Tactical. Lucas is a life long shooter and outdoorsman, avid concealed carrier and competitive shooter, and a lover of pork fat.


  1. They were almost certain planning something there’s another lesson here never go to a walk up atm at night, my CHP instructor even told us never to do that armed or not. It’s even risky to do the driveup at night but at least then you have a better chance.

  2. It’s really not necessary to use ATMs at all anymore, with so many stores offering the cash-back option when you use your debit card. I keep an eye on the amount of cash in my wallet, and if it’s running low, I just get some more the next time I stop for groceries. I never use ATMs.

  3. Good heads up. You never know. I guess it’s better to be safe than sorry.

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