Purse Snatching Techniques And How to Prevent Them

Nothing brings a point home quite like a personal experience. It is one thing to read about a situation or see it on TV, but when it happens to you or someone you know, it brings home the point with a thud.

We had such an experience not long ago that raised some questions in our mind. Then we saw a video on TV about virtually the same idea. So this blog post is discussing purse snatching techniques used by criminals in the hopes of raising awareness so women can be more attentive.

Purse snatching is the old fashioned form of identity theft, which is bad enough, but there is the inconvenience and trouble involved in getting your identity back which is where the real hassle lies.

There is an old expression about criminals not being the sharpest knives in the drawer, but in this one case you have to give them credit for creativity.

Here is the video that we were talking about from ABC News about “sliders” a new purse snatching technique.

Here Is How It Works

A woman pulls into a gas station to fuel up. When she gets out on the driver’s side of the car, she leaves her purse and all of its contents including her phone and wallet sitting on the passenger seat in plain view. The bad guy pulls up next to her on the passenger side and sneaks out of his car and into her car on the passenger side, grabs her purse and what other valuables might be there and sneaks back into his car and drives off. The whole thing can take less than 10 seconds. Meanwhile the woman victim is still pumping gas and none the wiser to what has happened.

In another incident, a neighbor of mine was shopping in a grocery store. It could’ve been a department store or any other retail experience for that matter. She wandered away from her cart for just a minute. When she came back her purse was gone. Of course she reported it to the store manager, her bank and to the police. In her case, she was very lucky and got her possessions back and an arrest was made.

But that is a rarity, and she was fortunate that not much damage was done. The money the “perp” spent on her credit cards was covered by the bank because she reported it so quickly. Video from the store was able to capture the image of the man who apparently was not a stranger to police.

Ways To Prevent Purse Snatching

Purse Snatch Target
Purse Snatch Target
  1. We have always advised that people keep their car doors locked, even when they’re nearby. There was a situation recently where a man drove to a convenience store for a quick cup coffee. Unfortunately, he left his keys in his car. He was gone for a very short period of time, but an opportunistic crook stole his car.
  2. Be aware of your surroundings. Avoid distractions.
  3. Always file a police report.
  4. Carry a self-defense product with you and/or have one in your car.

The DOJ (Department Of Justice) defines Identity Theft “as the attempted or successful misuse of an existing account such as debit or credit card, the misuse of personal information to open a new account, or the misuse of personal information for other fraudulent purposes such as obtaining government benefits or providing false information to police during a crime or traffic stop.”

According to their statistics, 7% of the population over the age of sixteen or close to 16 million people were victims of identity theft in the past year-the vast majority of them with credit card or bank information having been stolen.

This story about law enforcement catching up describes that most people just “let it go” and don’t report it to the police mostly because they feel they were protected by their bank and suffered no financial loss. And victims are not entirely to blame. Sometimes law enforcement agencies won’t take your report because they see the bank as a technical victim.

This in part leads to multiple repeat offenders. When there is no police report, there is no investigation and thus no hope of catching the identity thieves.

Have you ever had your purse or wallet stolen? Please share your experience. We want to hear your thoughts.