Pickpockets and purse snatchers conduct most of their criminal activity in busy commercial streets. Most of them choose females as their victims because purses and pocketbooks are easier to steal than men’s wallets.
You can protect yourself from these criminals if you follow these basic tips.
- Keep your keys separate from your purse. If your bag is stolen, the thief will not have access to your home. Keep your keys in your pocket.
- Pickpockets often use a diversion to get your attention while they attempt to steal your wallet from your purse. They often work in teams, one will bump into you while the other reaches into your bag. This often occurs in stores while you are waiting to pay for an item. Sometimes they will stage an argument or fight to divert your attention.
- Be aware in parking lots. Thieves will often approach a woman alone in a car. They will tell her that she has a flat tire, an oil leak, or recent body damage. When the victim exits her auto to examine the situation, a second thief reaches into the car and steals the purse.
- Never hand your purse over a chair in a restaurant. Keep it on your person.
- Lock your purse or handbag in your desk or in a locker while at work.
- When walking with a purse, keep it over your shoulder on a short strap with the flap facing your body. If you are wearing a coat or jacket, keep the bag under the garment.
- Be careful when making withdrawals at banks. Thieves often watch customers through the windows. If possible, fill out the withdrawals slip at home. Thieves know the color of the withdrawal slips used by the various banks.
- Be alert when approached by a stranger asking for directions or the time of the day. Thieves often use this approach when sizing up their victims. Be alert when speaking on your cell phone.
If you follow these tips, your chances of having your purse or pocketbook stolen will be greatly reduced.
Protecting Your Purse (.pdf format)