How to protect yourself from bag clothes

Pickpocketing is a theft that is usually considered a crime of opportunity. To minimize it, every woman who carries a handbag is a potential target. Elderly women are even more susceptible to this type of crime as they cannot easily defend themselves. Older people are also hesitant to prosecute their abusers.

This crime can easily be avoided by removing this “crime of opportunity” from the thief. Statistically, most pickpockets are young men, under the age of 18 who “seize the moment” and victimize a woman when the opportunity presents itself.

Let’s say you’re waiting for a city bus all by yourself and your handbag is in plain sight. You have already made two mistakes. If you are victimized, trying to keep your hand out of your purse can hurt you. This may be your first reaction, but grabbing your bag can lead to serious injury. For example, an elderly woman who falls to the floor may break her hip.

However, there are ways to prevent purse theft from happening.

The first precaution you can take is to go shopping with a friend. If you must go out alone at night, stay in well-lit areas, near street lights. Stay away from dark corners, alleyways and building entrances.

Women should limit the amount of currency they carry with them to a few dollars.

Prefer credit cards to currency. Driving license and jewelry should be carried separately from keys, in a coat or sweater pocket; or hide on your person to reduce the possibility of major losses.

When you’re carrying a bag that gets caught, you can lose your balance and fall. If the bag strap “breaks”, this can protect you from falling to the ground.

Remember that your bag is replaceable and if you keep the contents to a minimum, you won’t lose much value. As previously stated, some bag snatch victims have been knocked off balance and suffered concussions, broken hips, arms or legs.

Don’t bring anything of value you can’t afford to lose. Always leave credit cards you don’t normally use at home. While shopping, do not leave your bag on the counter or in the shopping cart with food bags, not even for a moment!

It is highly recommended that you have pepper spray, a personal alarm and a small flashlight on your key chain and have it handy. Some personal alarms have a combination LED flashlight and a very loud, high-decibel “crisis alarm” all in one. Pepper spray often has a quick release key ring that allows you to separate the keys from the pepper spray container. Another advantage of pepper spray is that it can be dispensed from approximately 10 feet away, temporarily “blinding” the attacker.

Also, never put your name and address on your house or car keys. You are simply announcing to the thief who you are and where you live.

Most purse theft victims are attacked from behind. They don’t have a good view of the attacker to be able to identify him later, especially in a photo or live. If you are a victim, call the police immediately and try to remember all the details of the person(s) involved and any vehicles used to flee the scene. The more information you can provide the police, the better your chances of catching them and possibly preventing another attack.

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