On the beat

THIS week, I would like to talk about the potential for becoming a victim of a bag snatch.

We are urging people to secure their personal handbags and other belongings leading into the Christmas and holiday season. 

Thieves often target areas such as shopping centres, car parks and pubs and clubs. 

This type of theft catches victims off-guard; being aware and alert of your surroundings is the best defence. 

We advise the community to take simple precautions to reduce opportunities for thieves: 

• Carry your bag close to your body (don’t dangle it by your side or let it swing from your shoulder) 

• Don’t wrap your bag straps around your wrist 

• Always keep your bag zipped up 

• Keep cash and valuables in your bag to a minimum 

• If you need to carry large amounts of money, separate notes and conceal them in different areas in your bag or on your body 

• Do not mark keys with an address 

• Stay away from the kerb; many thieves lean out of their vehicle to grab a bag or its contents 

• Be alert – especially at ATMs – and put your money away as quickly as possible 

• Don’t put your bag on top of your car while unloading shopping 

• Don’t put your bag on counters or in shopping trolleys. 

What to do if you become the victim of a bag theft: 

•  If someone is trying to steal your bag, don’t resist. Let go of the bag or you could be seriously injured

• Try to remain calm so you can provide an accurate description of the bag, its contents and the thief to police.

In case of emergency, call triple-0.  

For non-emergencies contact PoliceLink on 131 444 or your local Police Station. 

To provide anonymous information contact Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000. 

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