Tis the season for ' purse snatchings' in the Tulsa area

Tuesday, November 16th 2004, 10:19 am
By: News On 6

A warning for all women, purse snatchings are a problem all year long, but they're about to get into high gear with the holiday shopping season just around the corner.

As a Bixby grandmother now knows, a purse snatching can happen at any time of day, in any part of town.

News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright says Shirley Cummisky is a grandmother who runs daycare in her home. She thinks about safety when she's out late at night by herself, but never dreamed she'd be a victim at one of Tulsa's busiest intersections just before dark with her granddaughters in tow.

She also never dreamed the thief start by politely asking for her purse, she thought he was kidding. "It was a young boy, in his teens, not scruffy or dirty. Clean cut and I thought he's teasing me. I'm at Toys R Us and he wants my purse."

She realized it wasn't a joke when he lunged for her purse, right in front of her 7 and 4 year old granddaughters. Shirley's instinct was to hold on to her purse, so the man started yanking it and pulling her across the parking lot until it finally hurt her hand so much, she had to let go.

A family in the parking lot heard Shirley screaming, but thought it was a domestic situation, so hesitated until it was over, then realized she was a victim and let her borrow their cell phone to call police. Other strangers also helped. "One had found my wallet with my drivers license, credit cards and checkbook inside and one found a prescription bottle with my name on it and looked up my phone number and had my purse."

Shirley is grateful to have her things back and is only out $35 in cash and her keys, which she hopes someone will still find. They're attached to a square wallet with her name on one side and the word Branson on the other.

Shirley now realizes it was a mistake to hang on to her purse, because no possession is worth getting hurt or killed. She's also lucky in this era of identity theft, to get her checks and credit cards back.

If you can, skip the purse altogether and put what you need in your pocket. men and women both should take everything out of their wallets and copy it all front and back so if it gets stolen, you won't waste time knowing who to notify.