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Altus Martial Art Studio Offers Self Defense Workshop

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ALTUS Okla_ The City of Altus has decided to try a new way to fight back against burglars and thieves.

They're teaming up with a martial arts studio to offer free self-defense training to show people how to protect themselves and their property. As we've reported over the past few weeks, burglars have targeted cars and homes across Altus.  In one case, the family was actually home when the thief broke in early one morning. The homeowner scared him off.

The owner of the martial arts studio knows the family in that burglary. So, that's when she and her husband reached out to the Altus Police Department and offered their expertise to help other potential victims.

"It can happen to anyone at anytime," Former Martial Arts Instructor Christy Meli said.

For Meli, the recent string of burglaries in Altus hit close to home. The burglar was just steps away from where her friends' 14-year-old daughter was sleeping that night. She said she will never forget how her friends felt following the incident.

"They couldn't do anything," Meli said, "The violation, the invasion of privacy. There wasn't anything they could do to protect themselves."

The burglary led her and her husband to use their love for martial arts to help the community protect itself. Assistant Police Chief Mike Bell said he was happy to join the cause.

"I think that it is good for the police department to come out and other agencies in town here to explain to the citizens how they can protect their property without putting themselves at risk," Bell said.

Bell said that prevention is the key. Area burglars are looking for an easy steal.

"We have been finding out that they live in that neighborhood or around that general area," Bell said. "They are looking for opportunity."

He said that it's essential for citizens to inventory their home, make sure their doors are securely locked, and make sure their home is well-lit. This week's workshop is something Bell highly encourages the public to attend.

"Everybody that owns a home in Altus that is afraid that, at one time or another, someone might try and steal something that belongs to you, whether it is in your car, or boat, or house, it doesn't really matter," Bell said. "You should come to this and learn something from this."

For Meli, this workshop is all about making the public understand that anyone can protect themselves with the proper knowledge.

"There is nothing difficult that you have to do to defend yourself," Meli said. "It's simple things like getting out of the way and using their momentum against them just to let them feel safe if something does happen."

Both Meli and Bell say this is an event that the whole family can learn from. The Altus Self-Defense Workshop will be held this Friday, July 26th at 7:00 PM at the Way of Life Martial Arts Studio in Altus. It is free to attend.

 

 

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