Preventing a purse snatching -


How to prevent a purse-snatching

It happens when you least expect it. You're walking through a parking lot or down a street and within seconds, the assailant comes out of nowhere. Victims are sometimes dragged, punched, kicked - anything to get your cash.

Crystal Webb is the owner of Bulldog Defense, a group that helps women and men learn how to avoid becoming victims of any crime.

"Everybody has this mentality that, 'it's not going to happen to me' or 'I'm in a nice neighborhood.' Those days are gone," emphasized Webb. "Everybody needs to realize that no matter what type of area you live in or where you're at, this can happen."

Webb understands first hand that any traumatic crime leaves victims with scars below and above the surface.

"Anytime I look in the mirror, I see a scar where I took 19 stitches in my forehead and this guy was never arrested. Total stranger," recalls Webb.

Annie Varner learned her lesson the hard way after her purse was stolen.

"We found my wallet in a trash can about two blocks over," she says.

Varner admits, after having something like this happen to you, it changes the way you think.

"You have to have your guard up because people will hurt you over your money or whatever you have," says Varner.

As we all know, purse snatchings and robberies are crimes of opportunity, so following certain rules could keep you from becoming a victim.

"A lot of times, if you make eye contact with somebody that is approaching you, they will not attack you. Most attacks are snatch and grabs. They don't want to be seen and it happens so quick, they can't describe their attacker to police," says Webb.

When it comes to staying safe, here are some rules to live by:

  • Walk in well-lit, busy areas.
  • Steer clear of vacant parking lots, garages and streets. Especially at night.
  • Avoid headphones so you can hear if someone is behind you.
  • Hold your purse tight to your body and if you're walking, keep your purse on the shoulder furthest from the street.

And, as Webb has learned, it takes one split-second for your world to be turned upside down.

"Just be alert. Be aware, because there's people out there right now just looking for a victim," she warns.

Also keep this in mind the next time you're out: There are dozens of police reports of stolen purses at local bars, nightclubs and even while you're playing in the sand. Time and time again, folks will leave their bag for a short period of time, come back and it's gone.

Most of the time victims never get their wallet or belongings back. So on top of dealing with this extremely traumatic experience, you're forced with the headache of canceling all of your cards, notifying your bank and making sure your attacker hasn't stolen your identity.

Copyright 2013 America Now. All rights reserved.

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