SAN ANTONIO - Recently, we've shown you stories of attacks on at least eight women in San Antonio.
It's tough to report those kinds of stories, especially as a father.
I think about what I can do to help my kids -- especially my daughters -- stay safe. What kinds of advice should I give them? And how can other women better protect themselves so they won't be targets for an assault?
We hit the streets with our Crime Tracker expert for an eye-opening look at what to do -- and just as importantly -- what not to do.
"She's looking at her phone. She's not paying attention to what's going on around her at all." Gilbert de la Portilla was a police officer for more than 30 years. Now he's a consultant advising officers and others on how to think like a criminal would to fight crime.
We're in a San Antonio parking lot and he's pointing out what women are doing as they get in and out of their cars and walking to nearby stores.
He approaches a woman who is getting ready to put her toddler into her SUV. "I'll wait till you get out, I'm going to move my car."
He's close enough to her that if he were a bad guy, he'd have this pregnant mom and toddler trapped between her SUV and the car next to it.
"How old is he?" he asks. She politely answers "Almost two. Want to say hi?"
Then Gilbert illustrates all too well how easy it would be for a would-be attacker in a situation like this.
"Can I touch him?" he asks. And so he does.
A few minutes later, with our camera rolling, I talk with the woman, letting her know what we're doing and asking about what she did.
"He just walked up to you and said can I touch your baby and you...?
"Yeah, I don't know," she says. "It kind of caught me off guard. I thought... I guess it's hard to draw that line between being cautious and being nice."
Leslie tells me she was lulled into thinking she was safe because it was daytime and she was right in front of the store. But had he been a real criminal robbing her?
"The best thing for her to do was give me the purse or if I wanted her car keys, give me the car keys," de la Portilla says.
"She already had her son. She could have walked away. She would have been okay."
We see another mom glancing around before and after she puts the baby in her car. De la Portilla says that gives her the advantage because no one really knows what a criminal looks like. And if you're not aware that anyone is around you, you are especially vulnerable.
Then we spot a woman who's leaning into her backseat dealing with a baby she had just put in a car seat, never looking around to protect herself.
We timed her. It was nearly a minute. Plenty of time for an attacker to come up behind her.
Time is also the issue when you're talking on your cell phone. Or plugged into your music and listening through your earbuds.
You're giving someone time to watch you and time to attack.
Then there's the matter of body language, a key to safety.
We see Madeline walking back to her dorm room. She's looking down, arms clutched close, but not paying attention at all to what's around her.
Gilbert says just looking confident, walking with a purpose, and looking around now and then would lessen her risks.
And later, we learned another lesson when Gilbert asked her about what could have happened,
"If I asked you for your backpack, would you give it to me right away?"
"Because it's mine," she says.
"So you'd rather fight the individual to keep your property?"
Gilbert gives us his best advice. The answer to that question is "No."
Give it up, your keys, your wallet, whatever stuff it is they want, as hard as that is to imagine.
"Why take the chance of getting hurt, you understand?" Madeline gets the point.
We also see what some women did right. One is holding her purse tight, keeping her phone at the ready.
Another woman gets into her car fairly quickly.
"She just went right in," he says. "She wasn't wasting anytime. What they should do is as soon as they get in their vehicle, lock their doors, put on their seat belts and let's go."
So look around. Lock your door. Put on your seatbelt.
It's all simple. It all seems obvious. But Gilbert's big message is to just remind yourself it is important.
That simple stuff is what can save you from being attacked.