SOUTHINGTON - Police are investigating three purse snatchings in less than two weeks, and advising residents how they can help make sure they don’t fall victim.
Police said two of the three incidents - reported in the last week and half - involved a woman placing her purse in a shopping cart while she was loading items into her vehicle, when a suspect approached and grabbed the purse. The suspect then got into a waiting vehicle and took off. The incidents took place at Stop & Shop, at 505 N. Main St., and Target, at 600 Executive Blvd.
The third reported theft involved a suspect taking a purse from a vehicle parked at a gas pump, while the victim was inside the Mobil station and convenience store at 1896 Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike.
The suspect was described as a male in his teens or early 20s. The driver was also described as male. In two of the incidents, police said, license plate information was obtained. The vehicle had been reported as stolen, police said.
Southington police said they are working with other agencies to identify the suspects and file charges.
Police have provided preventive tips for residents, including always being aware of one’s surroundings, parking in well-lit areas and asking a store employee for an escort to one’s vehicle.
Police also recommend not leaving purses in plain view. If that cannot be avoided, the purse should be tied or strapped the cart.
Purses should also be kept on short straps, attached to one’s body, and should be let go immediately if someone tries to steal it, police advise.
Suspicious people and thefts should be reported immediately to police.
Victims should also gather as much information about the suspect as possible, including information on the getaway vehicle, if one is used.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or firstname.lastname@example.org.