We are fortunate enough to live in a country where personal safety isn't necessarily always a prioritized concern. That says a great deal about our law enforcement officers. Thankful for them every single day.
But as we know from reading headlines, East Texans still need to be vigilant and stay aware of our surroundings.
A friend shared a personal story she ran across on a community Facebook group called 'Together Hallsville' where residents can chat, rant, and rave about the goings on in one of our East Texas communities.
One of the members, Rocco Bruno (isn't that such a movie star name?), shared some wise reminders with the Hallsville group--but they're important for us all to keep in mind. Not only is Bruno a dedicated member of the Harrison County Sheriff's Office, just a few months ago, he faced a sincere safety concern head on that affected his family.
Here's what happened:
Get our free mobile app
His wife was carrying their 5-month-old baby out to their car in the Longview Wal-Mart on 4th Street. She noticed there were several shopping carts around her car, flushly placed to block 3 of her 4 car doors.
Bruno's wife, alert to such potential dangers, looked around and noticed two men in a red truck were looking at her directly--yikes. Every woman's nightmare. 
She began to move the shopping carts aside when one of the men got of the truck and began proceeding toward her. The nightmare worsens.
Bruno's wife decided to call a co-worker of his, since he wasn't at leisure to answer his phone. Worried for her safety, she put the co-worker--also in law enforcement--on speaker phone so that the approaching man from the truck could hear her talking with an officer.
Upon hearing the conversation, assumedly, the man went back to his vehicle and sped away.
Rocco Bruno's assessment of the situation based upon his knowledge of these types of scenarios? He believes there's a strong possibility the men were waiting for her to let go of her own shopping cart to move the ones that had been placed in front of her car doors in order to steal her groceries--or worse yet, steal the car. Or worse... you get the idea.
Bruno went on to share some safety tips to help all of us avoid this situation:
1. If you see something suspicious around your vehicle in the parking lot--such as this one--don't assume it's chance. It's quite possibly a set up.
2. "If you are already in your car and you happen to see something on your windshield, drive to a different area, and then remove it. If you fell the need to remove it right then and there, get out, SHUT YOUR DOOR, lock it and then remove the item."
Why does he recommend this? Because often when this happens, potential criminals  are waiting for you to get out of your car and leave your door open. While you're busy removing the "thing" from your windshield, there's a chance the crim may hop in your car and drive off.
3. "Be safe, Be vigilant and Be aware of your surroundings. If something seems out of place, most likely it’s out of place for a reason."
Thanks for sharing the wisdom, Officer Bruno. We're so glad your wife is safe--and surrounding savvy.

LOOK: Here are the 25 best places to live in Texas

Stacker compiled a list of the best places to live in Texas using data from Niche. Niche ranks places to live based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, health care, recreation, and weather. Cities, suburbs, and towns were included. Listings and images are from realtor.com.

On the list, there's a robust mix of offerings from great schools and nightlife to high walkability and public parks. Some areas have enjoyed rapid growth thanks to new businesses moving to the area, while others offer glimpses into area history with well-preserved architecture and museums. Keep reading to see if your hometown made the list.

LOOK: What are the odds that these 50 totally random events will happen to you?

Stacker took the guesswork out of 50 random events to determine just how likely they are to actually happen. They sourced their information from government statistics, scientific articles, and other primary documents. Keep reading to find out why expectant parents shouldn't count on due dates -- and why you should be more worried about dying on your birthday than living to 100 years old.

Illegal Cockfighting Ring Busted by Rusk County Sheriff's Office

Recently the Rusk County Sheriff's Office shut down an illegal cockfighting ring that helped save 87 roosters.

READ ON: See the States Where People Live the Longest

Stacker used data from the 2020 County Health Rankings to rank every state's average life expectancy from lowest to highest. The 2020 County Health Rankings values were calculated using mortality counts from the 2016-2018 National Center for Health Statistics. The U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey and America's Health Rankings Senior Report 2019 data were also used to provide demographics on the senior population of each state and the state's rank on senior health care, respectively.

Read on to learn the average life expectancy in each state.