Monday, February 27, 2012

Purse Snatcher

So, I really debated blogging about this...mostly because of the stupid thing I did to cause it. But, since part of this blog is about the adventures I have, this is certainly an adventure worth talking about. Let me start at the beginning.

I went to this large store (I won't name them, even though what happened wasn't their fault), in a town with a reputation for being ridiculously safe, in the middle of the day on a Sunday. I got a cart because I had a lot of stuff to pick up, and I decided to put my purse in the little seat part of the cart. As I went to the workout clothes/pajama area, I walked two feet away from my cart to grab something, not really thinking how absolutely stupid that was.

And then I hear it. I walk back to my cart, look in, confirm that my purse is now gone, and then look up. I didn't see her grab my purse, but I was easily able to pick out who it was because she was walking far too fast. I called out to her as I walk after her, hoping that maybe embarrassing her will get her to stop. All it did was make her take off in a dead sprint. I chase her through the girls clothes section, through the checkout lanes, to the doors (where I tripped, fell, but got up because I wanted my purse back), chased her out into the parking lot and through some cars, through multiple lanes of the lot. I finally caught up to the lady, who lucky for me was wearing a hooded sweatshirt. I grabbed her hood and pulled her back to stop her.

I yelled at her to give me my purse and she kept saying for me to give her my money. Then she said if I didn't give her money, she would get her gun and shoot me. Luckily I had some cash on me, so I told her that I would give her all my cash if she would just give me my purse. Finally she let me get the cash out, she took it from my hand, and took off to her car. After looking at her, I'm pretty sure that drugs and desperation played a huge part because she really wasn't interested in anything but my cash, and what I had really wasn't much. Someone called the police, and I told them everything. I doubt they'll catch her, and since she only got my cash, it's probably a low priority for them, but it was still pretty crazy.

So that's the story. Now here are a few things to learn from it:

  • DON'T LEAVE YOUR PURSE IN YOUR CART. It's common sense, I know. And I had a momentary lapse in it. NEVER doing that again. It was very stupid of me.
  • You really should NOT run after someone who steals from you. I got very lucky in my situation, and I only chased after her because it was pure instinct when she started running. I also really didn't think she would get out of the store and that someone would stop her. I wasn't trying to take a stand or anything and make a statement about not being a victim. After it all happened, I just thought, that was SO stupid. You really shouldn't chase these people because you never know what could happen. She could have legitimately had a gun, or a knife, or could have punched the mess out of me. 
    • In line with this, don't praise me in front of your kids. I get that what I did was pretty awesome or whatever, but don't encourage the same action in your children!
  • If you see someone chasing someone through the store, yelling "STOP HER SHE HAS MY PURSE," then you should consider helping them. If you're too far away from the situation, okay, there's nothing you can do. If you're an employee, I know you're trained not to do anything, so okay. But if you are someone who is in our path, who sees us running towards you, who hears me yelling, who I make eye contact with, DO SOMETHING. Don't just stand there looking like an idiot.

    I could probably count about five people I looked straight in the eye and tried to get them to help me, and they didn't. Yes, I get that kind of goes against what I said above, but it is a little absurd that everyone just stood by and did nothing, especially when they had carts they could have easily pushed into her. I probably could have forgiven that if someone had even come up to me out in the parking lot to see if I was okay after the woman took off. I sat on the curb for a good few minutes, and I know people in the parking lot, in that lane, saw me. Yet not one person even came up to me to see if I was okay. They just kept walking by like nothing happened. I just think it's one of those common decency things that clearly nobody at this store had that day.

    I did eventually have people ask me if I was okay and if I got my purse back once I was back in the store, and they clearly were people who were not in any real position to help, but it really didn't make up for it. I get that the area is really desensitized to crime, but it's one of those things where if I had seen it happen, and I was close to it, I don't know how I could have ignored it like that.
  • If (and I hope that's never) this happens to you, immediately write down everything you can think of about the person and what happened. I know that's criminology 101, and I know in this situation nothing will probably come of it, but it's always something good to remember. 
It was definitely one of the craziest, stupidest, most badass things I have ever done (almost beating skydiving). And I have a nice bruise on my arm (from what part of that, I'm not sure) to show for it. So it definitely made my weekend a little fun! I probably wouldn't be laughing about it had it turned out differently, but I most definitely got very lucky. 

Thanks to Tyler for this fun meme! 

1 comment:

  1. I wish I had been there with a cart in my hand... But I dim know that, just like deer, most people freeze when faced with an unexpected situation. So, it may not have been a conscious decision not to least I hope so.