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Prevent Purse Snatching

  1. Leave your purse at home. Carry necessary items (ID and money) in a wallet, tucked safely in your pocket. If you don’t have pockets and/or there are additional items you prefer to carry, such as makeup, keys, and a phone, consider putting them in a bag that wraps around your stomach and can be hidden from view, or a backpack strapped around both shoulders so that it can’t easily be snatched.
  2. Bring only what you need. Don’t carry any more cash or credit cards than you absolutely need to do your shopping that day. Usually, one credit card is enough, and you should have the customer service number written down somewhere (see tips) so that you can report the card stolen immediately if your purse is snatched. Decide even before leaving the house whether the contents of your purse are worth getting hurt for.
  3. Walk in busy, well-lit areas. You may think that you’re exposing yourself to more purse snatchers, but they are more likely to strike in dark, isolated areas because they don’t want to get caught. Walk briskly and confidently. Bring a friend.
  4. Be aware of the area and the people, especially if you find yourself having to walk in an isolated or lightly populated area. Look at the person who might approach or pass you. Do not look away. Look directly at their hands or at what they might be carrying. They prefer to strike and run, and not be recognized. If you do not appear to be vulnerable and will be able to give their description, they just might keep walking past you.
  5. Hold your purse tightly and close to your body, whether on a bus, train, or walking. If possible, wear it underneath a coat or jacket. Also, secure the latch or zipper. You might be tempted to wear your purse diagonally on your body (over the neck as well as the shoulder) or loop the strap around your wrist to prevent the purse from being easily snatched, but keep in mind that if someone does try to steal your purse, a hard yank on tightly wound purse strap can cause injury.
  6. If you believe someone is following you don’t turn around use a shiny object like a car mirror or window to look back.
  7. Shorten the strap on your purse so you can carry it tightly between your elbow and body.
  8. Remember that you come before your purse. If someone pulls it away from your hands or your shoulder, let it go! It is more important to avoid injury than save a purse. Never fight to keep it.
  9. Report anything or anyone suspicious. If you suspect that someone seems to be lurking someplace that they do not belong, contact security if you are in a mall, or contact the manager if you are in a supermarket. Better to report your suspicions and be wrong, than to ignore it and be robbed or hurt.

Additional Tips:

  • Don’t leave your purse in your shopping cart or on a counter, even for a moment. Don’t hang your bag on a stroller, either.
  • Don’t leave your purse or bag unattended on the chair or table beside you in a restaurant or library.
  • Photocopy both sides of the important contents of your purse (credit cards, driver’s license, etc.) and store the copy in a safe place at home. Should your purse or wallet get stolen, you’ll have a record of your account numbers and whom to notify about them.
  • Be VERY careful around malls, shops, etc.
  • Remember that the snatcher could be carrying a weapon and that there’s a greater chance it would be used if there is no one else around.
  • Although you might like to keep your purse with you while walking in busy areas, it may create opportunity for pick pockets who thrive on distraction and confusion.
  • Be careful with your actions, especially if there are few/no people around. Purse snatches are most often committed as a crime of opportunity.

tips from wikiHow

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