04-02-15 Police warn shoppers not to leave handbags unattended

Hawaiʻi Police Department
Criminal Investigations Section, Area I
Lieutenant Gregory Esteban
Phone: 961-2252


Media Release

Hawaiʻi Island police are warning shoppers not to leave handbags unattended in shopping carts.

Since February, police have received several reports of elderly female shoppers who had purses removed from shopping carts at various stores in Hilo while the shoppers’ backs were turned momentarily. The thefts are being actively investigated.

Lieutenant Gregory Esteban from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section said it only takes seconds for someone to snatch a bag out of a cart while the shopper is turned away to select an item from a shelf.

“We are advising women to keep their handbags on their person while out in public to avoid being a target of theft,” Esteban said. “Often, the theft of a handbag can lead to additional crimes, such as unauthorized use of a credit card and identity theft.”

Police encourage anyone who is the victim of a purse snatching to report it immediately by calling the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.
  • Keep your community safe through Crime Stoppers

    Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island-wide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.00. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers does not record calls or subscribe to any Caller ID service. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

    The Crime Stoppers TV Program is available on-demand from Nā Leo TV.