Purse Theft: It Happens More Than You Might Think.

JUNE 14, 2006 -- POSTED AT 9:45 P.M. CDT  

JONESBORO, AR -- 5 vehicles all parked at Joe Mac Campbell Park to enjoy a child baseball game, but when they left they had a surprise.

"Well, my first thought was something innocent like a ball had busted my window," says Leslie Adams, whose car was broken into.

But Adams, and four other parents, soon learned it wasn't innocent. Their purses were missing. Police say, within 30 minutes, two women used some of those stolen credit cards at Wal-Mart on Parker Road. Records of their credit cards show they weren't small purchases.

"Oh, it's been terrible. They got my debit card and were able to spend almost $1200 dollars at Wal-Mart. They've got my social security cards, my kids social security cards, and then just to think what was in my purse," says Adams.

It's often a misconception that parking in a busy area where there's lot of people around protects you from theft, but the reality is that it can happen to anyone, anytime.

"It happens a lot in retail areas, of course sporting events, special events. Anywhere where there's a lot of traffic around that area or a lot of people that are generally in the area, but this can happen anywhere. It can happen at your work place or it could happen at your home," says Sgt. Stephen McDaniel of the Jonesboro Police Department.

Sergeant McDaniel also said you would be surprised at the number of people that just walk on by and don't call the police when they see something suspicious. So, if parking in a congested place isn't your protection, what can you do to stay safe?

"It's important that people lock their cars, keep their merchandise out of sight. Remember for the criminals, out of sight, out of mind. If they don't know it's there, they're much more likely to move on to somewhere else to try to get something," says Sgt. McDaniel.

If you have any information regarding this case, call Crimestoppers immediately that number is 935-STOP. You will remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward.