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Purse snatchers on the loose target Ohio City restaurant patrons

Published: Nov. 2, 2021 at 8:09 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Women are being warned to be vigilant with purses and other handbags after a recent rash of thefts at Ohio City establishments.

″That’s sad,” said Verlynn Gamble, while walking down West 25th Street Tuesday afternoon, on the way to a doctor’s appointment.

Thieves have been prowling the typically-crowded street, eyeing popular bars and restaurants.

That’s one reason why Gamble said she secures her stuff a certain way.

Gamble told 19 News she had her bag stolen before, which is why you’ll now see her carrying a miniature version around her neck instead, along with her keys, secured on a lanyard.

Just about a week ago, police said a man stole car keys out of a woman’s purse when she was dining on TownHall’s patio in Ohio City.

The thief managed to take off in the woman’s vehicle, but Cleveland police officers were able to find it a short time later.

Rewind to a few weeks before this incident, and just down the street from TownHall a similar incident occurred at Nano Brew at the beginning of October.

A woman was dining out on the restaurant’s porch when police said two males walked by and snatched her purse off her table.

The thief ended up dumping the purse nearby, but the woman told police her car keys, two debit cards, and wallet containing $2 was missing.

And when the woman walked to her car, she noticed it was gone.

Police said the woman’s car was recovered in East Cleveland, but that the purse-snatchers are still on the loose.

“West 25th is becoming very bad,” Gamble said.

You may be thinking: “Okay, well those people were sitting outside, but it’s getting colder out, so purse snatching won’t happen as much. Except, an incident a few months ago took place inside a West 25th restaurant, not outside.

Cleveland police said the victim was eating with family members at TownHall when a purse snatcher struck.

According to police, the female suspect nonchalantly went behind the victim’s chair, stole the purse, and kept on walking.

The purse was a Chanel worth about $4,000.

It’s a hard pill to swallow, but there are several steps you can take to prevent this from happening to you.

Hanging your purse on the chair is not a good idea because makes it easier for thieves to easily steal your bag or something inside of it.

If you have a purse hook that hangs on your table, place the bag on the hook in front of you.

If you have a small bag, it can go right in your lap.

Otherwise, the safest spot is on the floor, by your feet, with the purse straps under one of the chair legs.

You may hate the idea of putting your bag on the floor, but it’s better than having no purse at all.

If you have any information regarding the recent purse thefts in Ohio City, call Cleveland police at 216-623-2760 or Crime Stoppers at 216-252-7463.

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