Two recent social media posts about purses being stolen or ransacked offer timely warnings to avoid becoming victims of crime.
Both posts on nextdoor.com were secondhand, but they resonated with dozens of people who made comments.
“WARNING,” Sarah Brase-Davis began her post, noting that her aunt had her credit and debit cards stolen after shopping at the Costco in Christiana.
“3 reportings of friends close to me getting purses stolen off of the back of their chairs in restaurants in the north Wilmington area,” Linda Marshall wrote. Marshall was asked to name the restaurants, but another person commented “Doesn’t matter, protect your purse at all times.”
Brase-Davis recounted the rest of the crime: “She unloaded her groceries & her purse was on passenger side of car. While returning her cart a guy stopped her asking questions. She left & went to Starbucks but realized her debit card was missing. When she tried calling the police her phone didn’t work. THEY STOLE HER SIM CARD too.”
“Thefts from/of purses are more commonly committed when the purses are left unattended,” said Cpl. Amina Ali of Delaware State Police. “The suspects will often leave the bag there, and rifle through it just for the wallet, all the while the victim is unaware their wallet is missing until they go to pay for something or notice fraudulent charges on their account.”
Multiple people chimed in about how they or people they knew had been victims of similar incidents.
“As with any crime patterns like thefts from purses, phone scams, and thefts from vehicles, we urge the public to be cautious,” Ali said. “A ‘purse snatching’ is reported as a theft and the owner is the victim. If the suspect then uses the victim’s credit cards before they’re canceled, then a charge for unlawful use of a credit card or an additional charge of theft is added.”
Some posters shared how they avoid being a victim:
• Don’t carry a purse at all. People who need medical supplies and reading glasses were suggested to carry such critical items in a lunch bag.
• “I even go as far as carrying an empty purse when I go into the city in case of a grab and run and my valuables in my pockets or a concealed Fanny pack,” Evelyn Fasano wrote. “A good hint if you carry your wallet in your pocket, don’t need to be taking it out often and are afraid of a pick pocket, close it with a safety pin.”
• Use a purse hook, Christina Dill suggested.
• “My purse stays on my knee under the table,” Joyce Dixon wrote.
• “Be vigilant,” Brase-Davis concluded.
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