Police investigating weekend purse snatchings at busy shopping a - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Police investigating weekend purse snatchings at busy shopping areas

Source: WMBF News Source: WMBF News

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A 73-year-old woman was injured Saturday night when someone grabbed her purse in the Coastal Grand Mall parking lot and drove off, according to a report from Myrtle Beach Police.

The woman told police she parked outside of Dillard's around 7:30 p.m. Saturday. As she was walking into the store, a black car drove up to her, and the driver reached out of his window and grabbed her purse.

The victim said she did not let go of her purse, so when the driver grabbed it and sped off, she was pulled to the ground. Her hand was bleeding when she got up, according to the report.

The investigating officer checked the store security footage and reported a black car, possibly an Impala, moving at a high rate of speed right before the victim entered the store.

Just after this call, another purse snatching happened, possibly with the same vehicle.

Police say they were called to the Neighborhood Walmart off Farrow Parkway just before 8 p.m. where the female victim, also 73 years old, said she was putting groceries into the trunk of her car, which was parked in the front handicapped parking spot in the lot.

The woman said her purse was in the child seat area of the cart, and when she heard a noise, she was startled to find a car had pulled up right behind where she was standing with her cart.

She told police a man reached from the driver’s side window, grabbed her purse, and sped off. She and a witness both said they believed the vehicle was a black four-door car, possibly a Nissan.

Police are investigating if the two incidents are related. They urge all women to be aware of their surroundings, both going into and leaving stores. 

Another tip from police is having car keys in hand both to unlock the car quickly, and sound the car's alarm if necessary to call attention. 

"That way you're able to hit the alarm on your car, create some sort of distraction that brings attention to you," Lt. Joey Crosby, with the Myrtle Beach Police Department, said. 

While one Dillard's shopper, Lolita Moore, said her first reaction would be to hold onto her purse if someone was trying to take it, she also says she would let go if the situation got dangerous. 

"I mean, if they got a weapon, I would probably say go ahead and take it. I don't want to get hurt over my purse, no matter how much is in it," Moore said. 

Police second this advice. 

"Although it is a hassle to get your credit cards replaced or your license replaced, we certainly don't want you hurt," Crosby said. 

Copyright 2017 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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