Sliding: A sneaky new way to snatch a purse

Published On: Dec 24 2013 02:40:46 AM CST   Updated On: Aug 21 2013 01:10:16 PM CDT
FactFinder 12 Investigators
Wichita, Kansas -

There's a new twist on the old crime of purse snatching: It's called "sliding."

When a woman leaves her car unlocked for just a minute or two while pumping gas, a vehicle will pull up beside it. A thief will slide in low and inconspicuously sneak out her purse left in the front seat.

Patricia Martin of Wichita said she learned her lesson after she was almost a victim of a similar crime.

"Some little kid had reached in my car, snatched my purse and he was going down the street," Martin said. "But I caught him."

But it's not always a child you can catch. That's why Martin no longer leaves her purse on the front passenger seat.

"It's like a habit," she said.

She's being smart, according to private eye Bruce Reesman, who agrees purse placement is also critical.

"The trunk would be a more safe environment, and the back seat is safer than the front seat," Reesman said. "But if you're going to leave it in the front seat, and nobody's in the front seat, utilize the seat belt to hold it in place."

Anything to make it tougher on thieves, whom he and Martin agree are everywhere - and always looking for a victim.

"In the society that we live in today, you've got to watch yourself at all times," Martin said. "It's sad to say, but you have to be cautious about everything you do nowadays. You've got a lot of people who are out of work, and it's hard times for everybody. You can't trust anybody."