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Guardian Self Defense and Security Blog

Criminal Alert - Purse Snathing

Criminals are always attempting to think of new and innovative ways to rob you. They will do whatever it takes to defraud you, your family and friends. A new criminal scheme involves purse or handbag snatching. Thieves are stealing the handbags and purses of unsuspecting victims while they sit in restroom stalls. Later the victims are are contacted by the thieves, who pose as the good Samaritan. Usually they attempt to make you believe that they are associated with the place you had trouble. A day, location, and time are scheduled between the victim and fraudulent Samaritan. On the scheduled day, while you are arriving at the pre-arranged location; the theives are simultaniously using your drivers license to get your address and your keys to enter your residence and burglarize your home!

This is a disturbing but very real crime trend. In a news story that made headlines recently, the wife of a prominent CEO, while shopping at a local establishment, went to the ladies room. Once inside the stall she hung her purse on the on the back of the stall door. She was engaged by a woman who seemed to be friendly and as they carried on about the womans business, a hand suddenly appeared over the top of the stall and grabbed her purse and took off.

She did report the incident to the store manager. A few days passed when the woman received a call from a person stating they found her purse and time was arranged to meet with the store manager to reclaim her things.

When she arrived, the manager was surprised to see her and stated he had not contacted her and nothing was found. When she returned home she discovered that her house had been broken into and burglarized.

This is just another common sense reminder. It pays to be vigilant and embrace awareness. To prevent crimes like these, do not put a purse, handbag, backpack or anything anything of value on the stall of a restroom door. Keep it on your person; take the strap and place on one shoulder, then over your head. Shop in groups of two, if at all possible. This way you have a "buddy" and both can look out for one another.

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