On Monday, November 26th, Dunwoody officers responded to two reports of purse snatching in the food court at Perimeter Mall. In one case, the victim and her friend were having lunch when the suspect approached their table and snatched her purse from the table. In a second incident, a female was sitting outside of the Forever 21 retail store when the suspect walked up to her table and snatched her purse from her.
We cannot be too complacent and relaxed when we’re out shopping, especially during the holidays. Pickpockets and purse snatchers are always on the lookout for their next target, so we can never let our guard down. They move fast without making you realize your purse or bag is already gone.
Below are some safety tips to help prevent purse snatching and other forms of theft. Read and follow these tips carefully so that you can prevent thieves from stealing your valuables. Please remember to share these tips with the residents in your community:
When shopping at a busy mall, if possible, leave your large handbags at home
Bring only items that you really need, such as ID and a bit of cash in your wallet. Place them safely in your pocket. You can use a small purse or a bag if you want to bring additional items like keys, phone or makeup, but do keep them hidden in plain sight.
2. Don’t carry any more cash or credit cards than needed
More often than not, bringing one credit card is enough. Make sure you have written the customer service number on a piece of paper or somewhere, so you can report it in the event your purse is stolen. That said, it is better to keep your cellphone in your pocket and not in your purse while shopping. (Keep them separated)
- Be aware of the area around you
Awareness of your surroundings is one of the most important factors you need to consider when you’re out shopping. Take a good look at the faces and hands of people who might approach or pass through you. Do not appear to be vulnerable or exposed and make sure you can describe them if such incident occurs. Most of these snatchers like to strike swiftly without being recognized. They also like to strike from behind so be fully aware of your surroundings all the time.
4. Hold your purse close to your body
Whether you’re on a bus, a train, or just walking/shopping – hold your bag securely and close to your body. You can also wear it under your jacket or coat and keep it unexposed.
- Do not leave your purse in your shopping cart or on a counter
Not even for a moment. Also, do not hang your purse in a stroller.
- Do not leave your belongings unattended on a table or chair beside you in a restaurant.
Keep your belongings very close to you at all times. This includes purses, shopping bags, laptop bags and any other personal belonging that you have.
8. Record credit card assistance numbers.
You will want to call and cancel your credit cards immediately in the event your cards are stolen. Never record account numbers or other personal information in your cell phone in the event of your cell phone being stolen.
Hopefully these tips will help prevent you and the residents in your community from becoming victims of theft.
Officer Anwar Sillah