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Handbag Safety Tips: How to Avoid a Purse Snatcher

Handbag Safety Tips: How to Avoid a Purse Snatcher

Kelly Rudolph | Excelle

January 28, 2009

Women have a love affair with handbags. They come in many flavors: totes, satchels, shoulder bags, top handles, clutches, evening bags, exotics and small accessories. In the roomier ones, we can carry our purchases, makeup repair kit, electronics, extra diapers — all of the things that prepare us for all possible situations. While men are hunters and carry a wallet, we are gatherers and that requires storage space.
If you are one of the countless women who leaves your handbag somewhere where you are not — in a shopping cart while you turn your back, or on your desk while you walk down the hall — you are setting yourself up for theft. The blame always lies with the attacker but we are responsible for being proactive about our own safety.  

5 Tips for Avoiding a Purse Snatcher

  1. Size matters, and small is best. A large bag appears to contain more valuables and is a more likely target.

2. Carry only what you need for where you are going. Surviving a purse snatching is stressful enough without the added agony of wondering exactly what the attacker got away with. Can you recall everything in your bag right now?

3. Be willing to give up your bag and yell. Nothing you own is worth risking your life for, and although purse snatchers usually don’t intend to hurt their victims, the attack can be escalated if you refuse to go along with their plan.

4. More expensive bags are bigger targets. If you have a $300 bag or even a $2,200 bag, not only is the bag more valued to an attacker, but there is a chance of more credit cards with higher limits inside as well.

5. Wearing a shoulder bag is dangerous if snatched. It is more common to be injured during a purse snatching if your bag is over your shoulder, or even worse, if diagonally across your body. Carry the strap in your hand.
Some purse snatchers will leave you alone if you stand your ground. You might also be able to run with your bag and escape the situation. It is important to err on the side of personal safety. Think of who would miss you if you lost your life or livelihood over a handbag!
Positive, practical prevention is always best; just thinking things through beforehand gives you options and confidence. When you have a plan, the confidence it gives you is projected in your body language, and we know confident body language repels attackers!
Bonus Safety Tip: Make photo copies of the front and back of all important cards in your bag and keep them is two private locations you can get to quickly in case of theft so you can alert your credit card and insurance companies, etc. For more simple personal safety, I invite you to visit to check out my weekly Safety Quick Tip program.

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