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Crooks Stealing Purses From Shopping Carts

The next time you head to the grocery store you may want to keep your purse close to you. It's a story only 11 News has been warning you about.

In the past few days, two women, at two different Walmarts in the Springs told police their purses were taken right out of their grocery carts in the parking lot.

The most recent incident happened just before 6 p.m. Sunday at the Walmart off of Woodmen and Powers. Police tell us the driver pulled up alongside the woman's cart, reached out of his window, grabbed the purse and drove off. The car was described as a blue four-door Ford Taurus.

11 News talked with shoppers who told us they learned about the crimes right here on 11 News and now they're being extra cautious.

We talked with Pam Johnson who said 80-year-old mother-in-law was also targeted inside a store just outside of Denver two days ago.

"She bent over to get something form the frozen food department and when she looked back up to check the item off her list, her purse was gone," Johnson recounted.

Just three days earlier, the exact same thing happened to Ambra Berger. She told 11 News then that while unloading groceries at the Walmart near Chapel Hills Mall, a car drove up, paused like it was waiting for a parking spot, then someone inside grabbed her purse and like Sunday, drove away.

Berger had left her purse in cart while unloading, but said that she was paying attention when Thursday's theft occurred.

"I went to move my cart like it was in the way," Berger said. She thought the driver was waiting on her to move the cart so he or she could park. "They reached out, grabbed my purse and sped off. I was just in shock that that just happened right in front of me."

Johnson used to keep her purse in the shopping cart, but not anymore.

"I'm going to pay more attention to getting my purse out and making sure it's put in the car and it's safe so that somebody doesn't grab my purse too,” Johnson told 11 News.

Other shoppers said they've been keeping up on what's been going on, and aren't taking any chances.

"I throw my purse over the middle of the car and then lock the car while I load the groceries and then try to stay sideways so I can see what's behind me," shopper Suzanne Doggrell said.

"One thing my mom has always taught me was to never have your purse sitting on top of a cart whether you're in a store or out of the store. So (hearing about the recent crimes) just makes me hold onto my purse a little bit tighter," shopper Michelle Marquez said.

Police say all of us need to be aware of our surroundings. Thefts increase during the holiday shopping season.

When you're walking out to your car police say to put your purse on your shoulder. And while shopping if you want to keep your purse in the cart, use the child straps to lock it down.

A lot of women forget just how much they would lose if they're purse was stolen. Some women carry multiple credit cards, digital cameras, and other things that would be hard to replace it taken. Police say only take the things you'll need. Maybe just one or two credit cards, try not to take too much cash, take as much as you think you'll spend on that trip, in case someone gets your wallet.

If you have any information on either of these crimes, call Springs police at 444-7000 or Crime Stoppers at 634-STOP.


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