Purse Snatching
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"Increasing your awareness for your personal protection"

Purse snatching is a crime of opportunity. To be a real survivor, not a victim, 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 there pursue. They make ideal victims.

What Can You 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 And Travel Together
The first precaution you can take is to go shopping with a friend - man or women this is a good form of self defense or protection against theft. 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 and alleys and for your protection, carry some form of self defense.

How To Outsmart A 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 Dangerous Weapons
For personal protection you should carry a police whistle or a flashlight. For self defense, carry pepper spray or mace spray on your key chain where they're readily available. Make a habit to carry your key chain in a pocket - NOT in your purse. And, you should never put your name and address on your house keys or car keys. This is simple a way of telling the thief who you are and where you live.

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!


How can I prevent purse snatching?
One way to prevent purse snatching is not to carry a purse, or to carry it in a way that makes it quite inaccessible, such as wearing it under your coat. Many women think that wearing a shoulder bag with the strap diagonally across their body is a good idea but, in fact, if someone grabs the purse in that position and tries to run with it, it can catch the strap around your neck. Keeping your purse close to your body and your arm over it makes it a little bit harder for someone to grab the purse. Also, being aware of who is around you is also very important.

Should I let him take my purse?
That's a decision that you have to make on the spot, and that decision is influenced by a lot of different factors.

If the person is trying to injure you to get the purse, you have the right to defend yourself to protect against being harmed. In some situations, women make the decision that they would rather give up their purse and assume that the person is going to leave with the purse and not bother them further. If that's the decision that you make, that's a reasonable thing to do. If you decide that you want to fight for your purse, you should know how to fight and you should make sure that your attacker is not armed.

You might reduce your anxiety about this crime by taking advance steps to minimize its impact, such as not carrying much cash, making sure you have copies at home of the favorite photos you carry, and knowing the procedures for reporting stolen credit cards. If you have taken these precautions, it might be easier to give up the purse without a fight.

Courtesy of www.aware.org - Womens Safety and Self Defense Information Center

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