Police Tips to Ward off Purse Snatchers and Wallet Stealers

After recent thefts, Sandy Springs Police Capt. Steve Rose has advice for women shoppers.


In his weekly crime report, Sandy Springs Police Capt. Steve Rose said a woman reported her wallet was stolen while shopping at Michael’s on Sunday. She had left her purse in the shopping cart.

With that incident and a outside CVS, Rose has the following tips:

Wallet thefts from purses are fairly common. They depend on a good distraction or a victim who isn’t paying all that much attention. Remedy: Close the purse. Rarely do they take the purse itself. Too much commotion and too much distance to the door.

Close the purse and chances are you’re okay. Just for fun, strap it to the cart itself. That way, when it’s time to push the cart outside, it’s secure unless the thief wants to drag the cart too.

Now, outside, the woman has another problem. She has to worry about someone driving or walking up and snatching the purse. Well if she is in fact worrying about it, it probably won’t happen. A little paranoia goes a long way.

One thought is to keep the purse strapped until you’re ready to unload the cart.

First, when you get to the car, don’t leave the purse in the child seat while you unload groceries. Put the purse in first and then the other stuff. Tuck the purse under your arm and get on over to your car, get in, start it up, and get gone.

If you’re not pushing the cart, tuck it and put the strap over your shoulder or around your neck—depending on how you’d feel if someone grabbed it while it was around your neck.

Unlock the car with your electronic button just in case you need to get in quickly.

With children, do the same thing. Put the purse and then you can give all your attention to the little one.

Above all, keep your eyes open and look for:

1. Cars cruising slowly and near you. If a car drives past you when you’re about to reach the car, make sure they see you seeing them. No one should be about to get within an arm’s reach without you knowing it. Look around.

2. Watch for anyone walking near your car or near you while you’re in the parking lot. Again, if you’re looking, you’ll see.

3. Consider this: On shopping day, take your I.D. and debit/credit card(s) out and put them in your front pants pocket and don’t take the purse in at all. Keep your eyes up and open and you’ll be okay.


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