Police: Beware of purse-snatchers while holiday shopping - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Glendale Police: Beware of purse-snatchers on holiday shopping trips

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The holiday hustle and bustle is here. People are already stocking up on their holiday presents and decorations. But shoppers could be unsuspecting victims.

Purses are being stolen from victims outside of grocery and retail stores. This is the time of year when crooks know you are likely carrying more cash in your wallets, and will be bogged down with extra bags.

Glendale police say criminals are preying on women specifically and stealing purses.

"Christmas Christmas Christmas, I'm running errands, going to do some baking," says Janie Armbruster, getting a jump start on her holiday shopping.

"I'm very excited, Christmas is a wonderful time for us," she says.

But Glendale police say women like Armbruster are at risk in the parking lot.

"We know they are out there watching you," says Glendale Police Officer Tracey Breeden.

Thieves target women because they wear purses.

"They have more opportunity, we're coming with our bags. It's not all the time that we do as much shopping as we are," says Armbruster.

Police say criminals are going after women who are putting bags into their cars, when they might have their guard down.

The bad guys snatch purses and cell phones. They can be violent.

Officer Breeden suggests women take only a driver's license and credit card into stores.

If you must wear a purse: "Put it around your entire shoulder, hanging towards front of body."

"With the economy, a lot of people don't have jobs, they need money," says shopper Joanna Ramos.

Police say all women are targets, but the thieves usually go after elderly women.

"They're taking advantage of the ones that can't protect themselves."

Purse snatching is happening all across the valley.

A couple extra tips -- have your keys out in your hand, stay off the cell phone as you walk to your car, and try and shop with a friend.

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