(KAIT) - A rash of purse snatchings has police from Poplar Bluff to Jonesboro sending out a warning! Protect your purse! Leaving your bag unattended is like an open invitation to a thief.
"Most likely I hardly ever leave it out of my sight," said Martha Stocklin.
"Especially these days I've been more alert to keep up with my purse and my wallet," said Debbie Hannah.
"I hang onto it very closely around my arm. I don't let go of it, I don't leave home without it," said Janet Cobb.
Your purse and your wallet are two things that contain most of your valuables.
"Personal information you just don't want everybody to know about," said Hannah.
Lt. Rick Elliot with the Jonesboro Police Department said there is not an increase in thefts they've seen, but purse snatchings do happen every week.
"Please do not leave your purse in the shopping cart unattended! This is the most common problem we have," said Elliot.
He said they can't contribute the thefts directly to the economy but the economy is the reason some are paying closer attention.
"It just seems like there's an increase in people getting their things stolen so just to make you more aware," Hannah.
"I'm very bad about putting it in my back pocket. If I just want to run into the store and leaving my purse in the car. I don't do that anymore," said Stocklin.
"They leave their shopping cart and turn their back just for a few seconds to get something and their purse is gone or their wallet from the purse is gone," said Elliot.
And it can happen fast.
"People are that quick. We've seen on the videos where purses are gone in just a couple seconds," said Elliot.
It doesn't just happen inside the store! One woman's purse was snatched from a Memphis Wal-Mart parking lot as she was walking to her car!
Elliot said you should only carry inside your purse what you will need on that shopping trip. Do not take every credit card you have if you don't plan on using them.