YONKERS, New York - Police in Yonkers want you to watch your purse while shopping, which is why the Yonkers Police Department has teamed up with a local bank to teach people how to protect their property in public places in Westchester County.
The best way to educate people how to keep their belongings from being stolen is to nab them being neglectful in the act. Thieves prey on shoppers while they are distracted, so one Yonkers grocery store is placing stickers on unattended bags.
The stickers are to alert shoppers that while they were turned away, their bag could've been stolen.
Some women's strategies for effective purse protection is to hold it like a football or to wear it across their body, while some hold their purses like they're going into battle. But others still leave their purses vulnerable by placing them in their shopping carts before reaching in the freezer or ordering deli meats.
"We've seen today a handful of people not keeping an eye on their bags and we've been able to surprise them, and tag them, and remind them to be mindful," Stop & Shop employee Cindy Carraquilla said.
Your belongings really can be stolen in the blink of an eye, so it's important to know the best practices.
"In the time I could take this (sticker) and put it on a person's purse, actually a criminal can steal their purse," said Angela Deleon, of People's United Bank.
The Federal Trade Commission warns that every minute, 19 people have their identity stolen, which costs hundreds of dollars and an average of 30 hours to fix. Following these precautions while out in public can help prevent that inconvenience.