Southington Police are warning residents after three women had their bags stolen over the past approximate week and a half.
Officers said they happened at the Stop and Shop on North Main Street, the Target on Executive Boulevard North and at the Mobil Station on Meriden Waterbury.
In two of the incidents, police said the female victim placed her purse in a shopping cart while she loaded items from the cart into her vehicle. During this, the male suspect, described as being in his teens or early 20s, approached her and grabbed her purse. He then got into a vehicle that was in the area waiting for him and fled the area with the male driver.
License plate information about the vehicles involved in two of the incidents was reported to police. Officers found the vehicles had previously been reported stolen. In the third incident, no license plate information was obtained.
No injuries were reported in any of the incidents.
Officers said the incidents are not isolated to Southington. Police are working with other agencies to prevent further incidents, identify the suspects and to file charges.
Police have issued recommendations 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.