Catcalling used to distract victim in purse-snatching

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A new technique to snatch your belongings uses a distraction method.

It's already worked on one victim, and now she's sending a warning to others.

Catcalling is something women often have to deal with, but one woman said she decided to ignore it and it left her a victim of a crime.

"I was probably standing like right here just emptying the recycle bin," Holly Calvasina said.

Calvasina described the moments before she became an unexpected victim

"I think the only reason that I didn't see it happen was because when he started hollering at me I was just like, no thank you," Calvasina said.

Calvasina said she left her car running Friday while dropping items off at a recycling bin on Cooper Street and Walker Avenue.

"Somebody pulled up and kind of hollered at me like, 'Hey girl. How you doing?'" Calvasina said.

While distracted, she said the man snatched her purse and left.

"It didn't really occur to me that anything was going on other than somebody was trying to talk to me that I didn't want to talk to," Calvasina said.

She said often women are inclined to ignore a catcall, but now she wishes she hadn't

"In hindsight, it probably wasn't probably the best thing to do to turn my back on someone I didn't know who was trying to talk to me," she said.

Now, she's warning others about what she says could be a new purse-snatching technique with hopes of having one less victim.

"As tempting as it is to turn your back or give the cold shoulder to someone who's doing that to you, definitely give them a stare instead and make sure you keep an eye on them," Calvasina said.

She said was never able to get her belongings back. However, police are working with her to investigate and hope to catch the guy responsible.

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