How to Avoid Becoming a Victim of Supermarket Purse Snatchers

Playing How Thieves Target Woman’s Purses When They’re Shopping

For too many distracted shoppers, a trip to the grocery store could end with a stolen purse or wallet, but there are some common sense ways to protect your stuff.

A New Jersey shopper was recently seen examining a package of chicken in a grocery store when a female thief swooped in and snatched her purse in a split second. 

In video from a separate supermarket, another female thief was seen casually walking up the aisle, but then boldly making her move, swiping a purse right out of a shopping cart while the bag's owner had her back turned.

Security consultant Bill Stanton showed Inside Edition what to look out for to make sure you don't become a victim.

“It is so quick, people don't know it's happening. They're like down another aisle before they even know it's missing," he said. 

In a demonstration, Stanton zeroed in on an unsuspecting shopper, doing his best to distract her.

As she engaged with Stanton, Inside Edition producer Katie Taylor swooped in and placed an Inside Edition sticker on the purse to demonstrate just how easy it would have been to steal it.

Stanton explained to the woman they he was part of a con to steal from her and then explained how it went down, showing her a sticker on her purse that indicated it could have been snatched. 

“While you're shopping for your items, as a possible bad guy team, we're shopping for our items," he said. 

In another video, a man distracted an elderly woman in the produce section while an accomplice slid in from behind to steal her wallet. It's a textbook case of shopping distraction thievery.

Shoppers wearing headphones are also an easy target.

Stanton also demonstrated how easy it is to steal from someone with headphones with the same sticker-on-purse approach. 

“My accomplice right over there could have easily gotten your bag,” he said. “You were being really nice, what happened is you got ripped off for it.”

“Thank you so much," the shopper told Stanton. "That was very helpful. I’m not gonna do that again."

It was almost too easy for Stanton and Taylor as successfully "stole" items repeatedly. 

Stanton advises keeping your bag visible at all times or keeping it on your shoulder.

"Once it goes in that cart it puts the bad guy that much closer to getting your stuff," he said. 

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