What to Watch For and What to Do

By Neil Ohlenkamp

Purse Snatches Can be Prevented:

Purse snatches are most often committed as a crime of opportunity. Purse snatches, losses and injuries can be greatly reduced or prevented by following proven crime prevention techniques.

Leave It At Home:

If you are not carrying a purse, you greatly reduce your chances of becoming a victim of robbery or attack. Is it necessary for you to carry your purse? Often a small wallet tucked into a pocket will hold your necessary items (i.e., identification, money, etc.). Try leaving personal items at home or at the office. If a wallet is not large enough, consider wearing a belly bag or fanny pack under your coat. These bags hold several items and can be worn while concealed from plain view. If you need to carry your purse, carry only essential items. Do not carry more money or credit cards than absolutely necessary. Normally one major credit card will suffice. If you do carry credit cards, keep a record at home of the cards carried, along with their respective numbers and a phone number to report their loss. Leave all other unnecessary items or valuables at home.

Travel In The Safest Areas:

If possible, walk in the busiest, most traveled areas. If it is dark, stay in the most well-lighted areas. Avoid walking past areas where possible attackers could be hiding (i.e., behind bushes or parked cars). Try to avoid walking alone. It’s true what is said about there being safety in numbers.

Be Aware Of Your Surroundings:

If you must walk in isolated or lightly populated areas, walk briskly and confidently. Be aware of the people and areas around you. If someone passes or approaches you, lokk them over carefully and do not look away. Pay particular attention to their hands and anything they are carrying. Do not give the appearance of being vulnerable or you risk making your self a victim.

Let It Go:

Whether carrying a purse or just sitting on a bus or other public place with one, hold the purse tightly and close to your body. Be sure that you secure the latch or zipper. In advance of any attack, consider whether the contents of your purse are worth being injured for. They are probably not. Let the purse go and avoid possible injury. Another strategy is to take a money clip and carry it with some money so that you can throw it and let the criminal take it as you get a way with your credit cards, ID, etc.

Report Any Suspicious Individuals:

If you believe someone is suspicious or does not belong in the area, then he/she probably does not. Report these suspicious persons by calling your local police department. The prevention of crime and the apprehension of criminals are possible with your help.

This award winning page is copyright © 1994/2002 by Neil Ohlenkamp, Encino Judo Club, USA. All rights reserved. Last modified July 4, 2004.