Purse snatchings on the rise in Memphis

Linda Blackmore's purse now hangs securely around her neck!

Blackmore says, "...They're going to have to jerk this one off to get it."

All a crook had to do to rip off Linda's old purse was open an unlocked passenger door while she was pumping gas!

When asked if she locked her door while pumping gas, Blackmore replies, "Oh, yes, oh yes. I have learned from my experience. I do keep it locked. It's locked all the time."

Linda was robbed earlier this month at this gas station.

The same thing happened to Memphis City Council woman Tajuan Stout Mitchell.

As she went to pump gas, a purse snatcher and his getaway driver made their move...and left the city council woman in bewilderment.

Memphis City Council member Tajuan Stout-Mitchell says, "...I want to know how many is there? Is there an increase in this kind of crime? What is being done to educate a population of women?"

According to the Memphis police department, there have been 994 thefts from vehicles since May 1st.

Also, 524 purses have been reported stolen this month from cars, homes and workplaces and 26 women report pure purse snatchings where handbags were ripped directly from the victims possession.

These thieves time their purse snatchings very carefully. They are extremely bold and brazen. They drive right up to their victims vehicles and as women are loading purchases into the vehicle or perhaps strapping children into the child restraints, they open the victims door and steal the purse.

Blackmore continues, "...You feel stupid after you have it done, too because maybe I should have been thinking about that but why would you think if you're standing right by the car that somebody would open the door and steal something."

Some victims say they're convinced thieves are hiring juveniles to steal handbags.

In many cases youngsters are the ones seen swiping the purses!

For more information on how you can prevent purse snatchings, click here.

For more information on fraud alert, call Trans Union at 1-800-680-7289, Experian at 1-888-397-3742, or Exquifax at 1-800-525-6285.