I was the victim of a purse snatching at Stop & Shop. In a second, a woman grabbed my purse from my cart. Luckily, I saw and pursued her, screaming, "Stop! You stole my purse!"
Alerted store personnel converged, and one employee grabbed the snatcher. I am grateful to the Stop & Shop employees who came when I screamed. Quick action prevented property loss and helped detain a repeat offender of larceny-related crimes. I am also grateful to the Madison police officers who responded.
The New Haven Register headline "Madison Police: Woman Stole Purse from Shopping Cart at Stop & Shop" should have read "Woman Stole Purse from Shopping Cart at Stop & Shop, AGAIN!" Apparently, several purse snatchings have occurred there. Previous victims lost their property because the snatcher escaped.
The Connecticut judicial website reveals that the snatcher has a long list of offenses and court cases. She was known to the Madison Police and to Stop & Shop. Unfortunately, as she lurked around me, an oblivious target, I had no knowledge of her criminal arrests.
It is critical to always be aware of your surroundings and your safety. No place is immune. In familiar stores, we can become easily distracted. That is what the snatcher is looking for.
Businesses will never post signage announcing that their customers have been victimized. While I am writing not only to thank store personnel and police who helped me, I want to remind others to be vigilant everywhere. No place is immune. Maybe as a public service, Stop & Shop could spearhead the creation of a consumer "Dos and Don'ts for Safe Shopping" card or flyer to raise awareness and remind us all. The next victim may not be so lucky!