It’s almost as if every week in Sydney there is bag snatch somewhere. And these are just the ones we hear about on the news, there’d be a lot more cases that you never hear of.

It’s not just the woman’s purse being taken that’s traumatic, but it’s often the injuries that can result from the incident. Take the 82 year old that had her bag taken recently when she was walking to her car in a car park. She was approached from behind by a man at 12:30pm and was pulled to the ground as the thief took off with her bag which also contained her fortnightly pension.

While there is an increasing amount of criminal activity in suburbs across Sydney, there are certain areas where women are particularly vulnerable to bag snatching.

Here are some useful tips for catching a local thief:

    • As soon as you witness an incident like this, make sure you notify police. Try to remember as many details as possible.
    • If this is a common occurrence outside your home or business, have security systems installed. The cctv systems will capture the offender the next time they attempt to steal a handbag. Surveillance not only works to catch criminals and lead to a conviction by providing police with HD video evidence they can use in court, but it’s also useful for deterring criminals. If they notice the video cameras or see warning signs regarding video surveillance they are less likely to want to commit a crime which could potentially be recorded on camera.
    • Always keep areas around your home/business well lit so that people can’t hide and jump out of the shadows at night.
    • Put up signage regarding the bag snatching you’ve witnessed. Something like ‘Beware bag snatchers in this area’ is a good idea and it will help alert women to be more careful with their belongings.
  • If you’ve just witnessed a woman being targeted by a bag thief, call the authorities first. Ask her to sit down and help her to remain calm. If she was pushed or fell over, find out if she is injured in any way. An incident like this can leave a person feeling very shaken up so make sure she has somewhere to sit and take a few deep breathes.

If you are carrying a bag and someone tries to take it from you, it is far better to let it go than to hang on to it and risk being injured. Unfortunately, you don’t know what sort of person has targeted you, and if they are armed you don’t want to risk further injury.

The most important thing to do if this happens is to look around for witnesses and call the police. The next step is to cancel all of your cards immediately so that they will be useless to the bag thief.

If the incident did occur outside a business or in a car park, chances are there could be video surveillance footage of what happened and this can be very useful to police.