We have received several reports of pickpocketing in the city recently. In the most recent incident, the victim was eating lunch at a restaurant when a male suspect bumped into her chair where her purse was hanging on the back. Shortly after, the victim received fraud alerts stating that the card was attempted a nearby department store.
I would like to share a few tips with you to help prevent more victims of purse thefts in our city.
These are what pickpockets look for:
- A woman who drapes her purse on the back of a chair or on the floor beside of her.
- A woman whose wallet is sticking out of her purse.
- A woman who leaves her purse or wallet in a shopping cart.
- A purse or bag left in an unlocked car.
- A woman who has set her purse or wallet down on a table or counter.
- Purses left in unattended offices or dressing rooms.
- Purses and coats dangling on coat racks.
The best target is a woman alone with a dangling purse or one she is not paying much attention to. A simple snatch isn’t difficult to set up.
The most common scenario involving a grocery store, or any store for that matter is the thief that sees a woman checking out something in the aisle, completely turning her back on her purse that is temptingly sitting there in her shopping cart. While she is distracted gives the perfect time for the purse thief to strike, either taking just the wallet or by taking the whole bag. Just taking the wallet gives the thief more time to get away, compared to taking your whole purse which is more noticeable.
As far as the theft from the chair, never place your purse in any location where someone can remove your purse without your knowledge. If possible, travel with a small purse and keep it in your possession at all times. Never turn your back on your purse! The safest spot for your handbag is on your lap, but realistically you probably won’t want to cling to it for your whole meal. You can try lifting up one leg of your chair and loop the purse strap around it, so when you lower the seat down it’s secure. Then, swing your bag in front of you so you can keep an eye on it for extra security.
Please keep these points in mind the next time you’re out shopping or at a restaurant. Let’s stay one step ahead of the criminals!
Please remember to share this with the residents in your community.
Officer Anwar Sillah
Community Outreach / Public Information Officer
Dunwoody Police Department
4800 Ashford Dunwoody Road
Dunwoody, GA 30338