How to Guard Against Purse Snatchers
Purse snatching is a crime of opportunity. You can eliminate that opportunity. Every female carrying a purse is a potential target. Senior citizens are especially susceptible to these criminals since they may not be readily able to defend themselves and pursue their assailants.
What You Can Do
Purse snatching is a crime that can be easily prevented when you take away the opportunity from the thief. Most purse snatchers are juveniles under the age of 18, who are waiting for the next opportunity. When you hide the "prize" you protect yourself!
Suppose you are going shopping and waiting for the bus. You are by yourself and your purse is exposed and in open view. You already made two mistakes - you're alone and your purse is vulnerable. Frankly, your personal safety might depend on not clinging to that purse, even though it seems a normal way to protect the contents. Grabbing and shoving that may take place can result in being injured. There are ways to protect yourself, however.
Shop With a Friend
The first precaution you can take is to go shopping with a friend - man or women. You're safer when in the company of someone else. If you must be out at night alone, stay in well-lighted areas. Walk close to street lights, staying well away from dark corners, alleys and building entrances.
How to Outsmart the Purse Snatcher
When carrying a purse, women should have only 3 or 4 one dollar bills placed inside. Credit cards, currency, driver's license, keys and jewelry should be carried in a coat or sweater pocket, or concealed on your person to reduce the opportunity of large losses. If you carry a purse, don't wrap the strap around your shoulder, neck or wrist. If your purse is grabbed, a strong strap will not yield easily and you may be injured. Some purse snatch victims have been thrown down and have received concussions and broken bones. Never carry anything more valuable than you can afford to lose. Always leave all unnecessary credit cards at home. When you shop and carry a purse, place it in your shopping bag. Never leave your purse on a store counter or in a grocery shopping cart - even for a moment.
Don't Carry Weapons That Can Be Used Against You
You should consider carrying a police whistle or a flashlight. However, carrying pepper spray or mace spray could be used against you.
Call the Police Immediately
Most victims are attacked from behind. They don't get a good look at the attacker. And when a juvenile gets away with it once, he'll try it again. If attacked, call the police immediately. Try to remember all details - help your police help you!