Shoppers: Be Alert to Thieves! -

Shoppers: Be Alert to Thieves!

One of artist Paul Landau’s specialties is his photographic capture of hummingbirds.
Shoppers: Be Alert to Thieves!

One evening recently, I received a most upsetting phone call. My wife was calling me on her cell phone to inform me that while she was shopping in a local store, someone had stolen her wallet containing some cash, credit cards, driver’s license, debit card and the usual out of her purse. (Fortunately, she does not carry her social security card in her possession). She was understandably very distraught, had informed the store management and was at the police station in the process of filing a police report.

I immediately began the process of informing banks and credit card companies. Everyone with whom I spoke assured me that this type of theft is very common.

As my wife and I told people about the experience we were amazed to discover that this type of theft is widespread, yet few people are aware of it. Granted, a number of people know of these things, but most people we talked to have been quite shocked as to how frequently they occur. I wish to emphasize that is NOT my intention here to create an atmosphere of anxiety and paranoia. It is, rather, an attempt to make everyone aware of the problem and to suggest some measures to combat it. It is not unique to Apache Junction, but exists everywhere.

Like so many ladies I’ve seen in the stores, my wife had her unzipped purse in the baby seat of the shopping cart. When she bent over to examine goods on a lower shelf taking her eyes off her purse, someone snatched her wallet out of her purse. This won’t happen again.

Awareness is everything, but here are some suggestions:

  1. Shop with a friend or family member if at all possible. No dirtbag thief is going to try to steal something from you with someone else watching carefully in close proximity.
  2. Ladies, keep your wallets deep inside your purse and keep the purse closed securely. Wear it over your shoulder. If you have to keep it in the cart, make sure one of your arms is through the straps.
  3. Don’t carry a social security card in your possession.
  4. Be aware of those around you. Remember, thieves now teach their children to steal from you. They often work together.
  5. Many men no longer keep their wallets in their back pockets. They place their money, credit cards, etc. in their front pockets.

There are many more preventative measures. Let’s take back the store aisles and get rid of the crooks.