“Purse snatchers” are typically opportunistic offenders. They look for ladies who are distracted or not closely guarding their purses. Often they work with accomplices who create a distraction so there is an opportunity to grab the purse and run. To keep from becoming a victim, avoid carrying a purse if possible. For example, if you’re going shopping and you know you will pay with a check or credit card, lock your purse in your trunk. Then just carry your driver’s license, credit card and check book in your pocket. If you do carry a purse, clutch it under your arm so that you have a firm grip —but make sure you can still release it in the event you need to escape from an offender. Do not wear your purse strap over your neck and shoulder. An aggressive offender can grab that strap and drag you down, causing serious injury or death. If you are shopping with a basket, do not leave your purse open, exposing its contents. This is an invitation to a purse or wallet snatcher. Be alert anytime a stranger engages you in conversation. Any time you see someone watching you, especially if they are moving in your direction, take evasive measures to get into an area of safety: Get around other people, go inside a store or get inside your car and lock the doors. Following these tips will help you avoid becoming a victim. But if you ever find yourself in a struggle for possession of your purse, let the thief have it. It’s not worth risking your life to keep the purse — all possessions can be replaced.

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