Saturday, December 1, 2012

Texas: Tourist from Alaska, 70, Victimized by Purse Snatchers in Hoodies

An elderly woman tourist from Alaska, age 70, who was staying at the Courtyard Marriott in New Braunfels, was the victim of a purse-snatching on Wednesday morning (November 28).   
The incident occurred when the tourist was chatting with another guest in front of the hotel when two men dressed in hoodies approached the woman and suddenly began to shake their hands in the air and scream at her.

This distracting technique was most effective because the victim was so disconcerted by the  tactic, that the two men successfully snatched the woman's purse from her arm and escaped on foot.

COMMENT: Increasingly, youthful offenders prey predominantly on seniors as many of them may have physical limitations and may not be agile enough to run after assailants, which by the way, I don't advocate.

Although New Braunfels police promptly responded to the scene, their efforts to apprehend the suspects were unsuccessful.
The victim's  purse contained money, jewelry and other items of value, but fortunately the  tourist was not injured, nor was a weapon used to facilitate the crime.

I have chosen this incident to highlight the fact that criminals will use almost any tactic to distract their targets, which in this case was very, very effective.

Although it obviously would be improper to characterize all persons wearing "hoodies" as potential criminals, it nevertheless would be prudent to be observant of persons wearing hooded sweatshirts as it permits them to conceal their physical description from crime victims.

Emphasizing that there are no "safe" destination anywhere on Earth, tourists and travelers need to exercise proactive security awareness at all times.

Increasingly, I urge women to not carry a large tote bag or purse, but to consider carrying a small wallet or tote that can be carried in a pocket, thereby eliminating a dangling purse that can often be too much of a temptation for career criminals to withstand.

New Braunfels is a unique town of 57,000 with a substantial German community. In fact, in German, it means "brown rock." The city is the second largest city in the San Antonio area.