The Southington Police Department is currently investigating three purse snatching type crimes that have occurred over the past approximate week and a half at Stop and Shop (505 N. Main St.), Mobil (1896 Meriden Waterbury Tpk.), and Target (600 Executive Blvd. North).
In two of these incidents the female victim placed her purse in a shopping cart while she was loading items from the cart into her vehicle when the suspect approached her and grabbed her purse. The suspect then got into a vehicle that was in the area waiting for him and they fled the area.
In the third incident a female parked her vehicle at a gas pump and left her bag on the front seat when she entered the store. The suspect entered the vehicle, took the bag and fled the area.
In all three of these incidents the suspect that took the purse was a black male believed to be in his teens possibly early twenties. The operator of the vehicle that they fled is was a second black male. In two of these incidents license plate information was provided to police and the vehicles were found to have previously been reported stolen. In the third license plate information was not obtained.
No injuries were reported in these incidents.
These incidents are not isolated to Southington and Southington Police are working with other agencies to prevent further incidents, identify the suspects, and to file charges.
The following are suggestions to help prevent a purse snatching;
- Be aware of your surroundings
- If you have an uneasy feeling about a situation, trust your instincts and leave the area.
- If you are leaving a store and going to the parking lot and have an uneasy feeling, ask a store associate to accompany you.
- Park in a well-lit area.
- While in a store or parking lot, don’t leave your purse in plain view in the shopping carriage. The best case scenario is that you leave your purse at home.
- While shopping or loading your vehicle, don’t be distracted talking on a cell phone or listening to music on headphones. Again be aware of your surroundings.
- Strap or tie the purse to the carriage before shopping.
- If you need a purse utilize a short strap that will allow you to keep it close to your body or a longer strap that you can wear across your body.
- If you see a person or vehicle that appears suspicious contact a store associate or police.
- If someone does attempt to steal your purse, let the purse go rather than risking injury to yourself. The purse and items can be replaced.
- If you are a victim, try to get a description of the suspect and/or vehicle with a license number and call 911 immediately.