Purse Snatchers and Pickpockets

Most people keep their valuables such as credit cards and money in a wallet or purse. Criminals know this, and that is why purse snatching and pickpocketing are crimes around the world. This page provides some simple advice to keep your valuables safe.

Watch this short video on protecting your purse and wallet:

Purse Snatchers and Pickpockets

Your situational awareness is your primary defense against most crimes, including purse and briefcase snatchers. Keep an eye out for anyone paying attention to what you are carrying, or wanting to get too close for no reason. You can avoid drive-by snatchers by walking away from the curb, and keeping your purse or briefcase on the side of your body away from the street.

Carry your purse with the strap over one shoulder so that it hangs straight down, and clutch the bag between your arm and body. It's sort of like a football player carrying a ball as he runs for the end zone. If your strap is too short to go over your shoulder, put your hand through it and carry it just like that football. Carry strapless bags like this too.

Pickpockets like crowds and generally have very light touch. If he is good, and many are, you won't feel much of anything when he is removing your wallet. You might feel slight pressure. Remember, a pickpocket will take things from your pockets, or from an open bag or purse. (Be sure to see the page on open backpacks and purses.)

I like to carry my wallet inside my front pants pocket. This pocket is much harder for a pickpocket to steal from, and it also prevents back trouble caused by prolonged sitting on a wallet. Be very careful of carrying anything of value inside your jacket pocket, and be wary in crowds of someone bumping into you. Also remember that many of these thieves will work as a team. One will distract you while the other lifts your possessions. If they have a third member, it will be immediately passed off to this person so if you accuse the thief of stealing he will be empty handed.

Also as I stated in the video, it is a good idea to carry an extra credit card, ID, and money separate from what you are carrying in your purse or wallet. If you lose one, you haven't lost everything.

Check out this page for more excellent information (over an hour of videos) on avoiding pickpockets:

Don't Fall Victim To Pickpocks

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