Every week I take my 89 year old mother to the grocery store. She values her independance so I don't hover, but do my own shopping. Today as she looked over the produce, with her purse in the shopping cart....you know what happened. The store security tapes recorded the couple. They came into the store, saw an elderly woman not paying attention, took her purse and left. They were in and out in less than 5 minutes. The irony is that she has always 'nagged' at me to not leave my purse in the cart, or set it down any where. Of course she is very upset.
However, some things worked in her favor and are good ideas that may help others. She never carries her checkbook. She only had ONE financial card, a debit card. (the bank is in the same center as the market so I was able to cancel it within 30 minutes). She had very little in the purse, no jewlery or other valuables. She lost about $60. We were able to identify the things we have to replace - her state ID card (she doesn't drive), library card (which I also cancelled), and medical/insurance cards. Because we don't know if her social security card or number was in her wallet I will do some things on line to prevent identity theft. We also had her door locks changed immediately. Her keys had a tag that lists her senior living center with her address, which is right next to the store.
So, ladies, wear your purses, or use the kiddie safety strap to secure it into the shopping cart. I am going to reduce the number of cards I carry!
Hope this helps someone else avoid this problem.