How to protect yourself from purse snatchers

Crime

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – With the recent series of purse snatchings in Holyoke and West Springfield local residents should take the necessary precautions to stay safe.

If possible, don’t carry your purse inside the store with you. It is encouraged to only bring your essentials in the store such as your wallet, phone and keys. These things can easily be placed in your pockets and prevent you from being put into dangerous situations.

The purse snatchings in both communities have targeted women who are alone in their late 50s to late 80s. The robberies happen in the late afternoon to early evenings, in shopping plazas and appear to be random. If you are out shopping, be aware of your surroundings, avoid being on your phone when walking in the parking lot.

And as we head into cooler temperatures a good alternative is to carry your purse under your coat. You can also choose a crossbody purse or a fanny pack so it’s harder to grab. Or secure the purse to a shopping cart so it’s hard to take quickly.

You can also ask if someone from the store is willing to walk you to your car. If someone does try to steal your purse by force, or threatens you, it is best to let it go and avoid potential harm. Your property can be replaced, but your life can’t.

If you see any suspicious activity, call 911 immediately the Holyoke Police Department is investigating the incidents and working with West Springfield.

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