Sunday, December 9, 2007


I know this is a topic we would prefer to not have to deal with-- facing the reality that we could be potential targets of a robbery, especially during the holidays.

It is very easy to get caught up in the mystical, magical representation of the holiday season while shopping, and become less aware that there is someone out there who is looking for the perfect opportunity to snatch your handbag. So you're carrying pepperspray, huh? Guess what-- you've been caught off guard, it's in the bag along with all of your other valuables, so it can't be used on the perpetrator anyhow!

Here are some tips to avoid becoming a victim of a purse snatching, courtesy of

The best deterrent to purse- snatch crimes is to walk with a friend or in a group, be aware of your surroundings and know who is nearby, according to the department.

Maintaining a confident look also can be a deterrent.

Crossing the street, returning to a business, or asking someone for help, based on those using instincts to spot a potential purse snatching situation might help prevent confrontation.

The following also is suggested to avoid injury and minimize loss:

  • Never carry large amounts of cash.

  • Place keys, small amounts of cash, credit cards and identification in a secure coat or pants pocket instead of a handbag. Carrying house keys in your handbag increases the chances of unwelcome intruders gaining access to your home, especially if your identification is also in the purse.

  • Handbags should be closed, carried in front of the body with an arm held loosely across them. A handbag dangling by the side is much easier for a thief to grab on the run.

  • If you wear a handbag with a strap over the head, choose one with a thin strap, and wear it under your coat, which makes it harder for criminals to suddenly grab the strap which might cause you to fall and be injured.

  • Resist the impulse to play tug-of-war if a criminal grabs your bag. Chances are you will be knocked down and possibly injured, and the criminal will probably get the bag anyway.

  • Reduce personal items or those of sentimental value carried in a purse. The loss of these items can sometimes be more traumatic than the financial loss.

  • When traveling in your vehicle, be sure to place your purse under the seat or secure it in the trunk. Park in a well-lit, attended area if possible, completely closing all windows and locking your vehicle when you leave.

  • When shopping at a store or market with shopping carts, use the child restraint straps to help secure your purse if you decide to place it in the shopping cart, and never leave your purse unattended in a shopping cart.

  • And, if confronted by someone who displays a weapon, or implies they have a weapon, remember your property can be replaced, but you only have one life.

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