Protect Your Purse

Monday, December 8th 2008, 5:36 pm
By: News On 6

I know you know this. I know you've heard it a million times before, but, yet, you ignore the information, so I feel I must say it again... PROTECT YOUR PURSE.

Just today, I was having lunch at Jason's Deli in Tulsa and I saw three purses hanging on the backs of chairs, but, at least the women were nearby. I watched another woman sit her purse at her table, then walk off to the salad bar. It was just sitting there unguarded and anyone could've taken it.

I know you think it won't happen to you because that's what every victim tells me during the interview, after it happens.  I know it's easy to get complacent, because of all the times you've...

  • 1. Hidden it under the front seat or in the backseat ,
  • 2. Tossed it in the trunk after you arrive somewhere,
  • 3. Put it in your shopping cart and walked away from it,
  • 4. Hung it on a hook on the back of a public bathroom door,
  • 5. Driven with it in the seat next to you,
  • 6. You name it,

 and nothing ever happens, but, it can, it will, it does. If you're like me, your purse contains so much of who you are, your driver's license, your checkbook, your credit cards (hopefully not your social security card or those of your children!) and for me, my camera, my iPod, my wedding picture, my Christmas list, my PDA, etc. Once a thief gets your purse, they have your address and if your keys are in it, they also have access to your home. I always advocate for people to keep their keys and phone out of their purse at all times.

It's such a hassle to try to rush home and call the bank and cancel cards and replace things and if you have cash (especially this time of year), it's gone.

It'd be nice if we could avoid carrying a purse altogether, but, I'm one of those people who has to have a purse. I also think there is a way for us to carry one and still be careful. But, what I see every day is women are not being careful.

If someone steals your identity, it could take you months, even years to get that straightened out and I don't know very many people who have that kind of time or want that hassle.

These crooks are opportunists and they're fast. Any opening we give them (leaving our car running to keep warm while we run into the house to get something we forgot or while we're in the convenience store getting a coffee), they‘ll take it.

When you're shopping, the safest place for your purse is on you, not in the child seat of the shopping cart (even if you're using the baby seatbelt), not in the basket buried under your purchases, not hidden under the front seat of your car or under a blanket in the back seat, but, on you.

If you plan to put your purse in the trunk, do so at home before you arrive at your destination. If you have an internal trunk release, crooks will watch you put it in the trunk, break your window, pop the trunk release and have your purse.

Make a copy every few months of the front and back of all the cards you have in your wallet (including your company health card and other non-credit cards). That way, you'll know immediately who to call and what to list on the police report.

Don't leave your purse in the car while it's parked in the driveway and don't leave it sitting on your kitchen or dining room table while you're working in the with the garage door open.

I know it seems like a hassle and we shouldn't have to work this hard to protect something that belongs to us in the first place, but, unfortunately, taking these precautions is necessary to protect us from a huge, time consuming hassle. We don't need that, especially at this crazy, busy time of year.