Purse and wallet snatching has recently become an epidemic in Northwest New Jersey and throughout the United States. While you are completing your household and personal shopping, thieves are waiting for the moment that you turn your back on your wallet or purse. Victims may leave their purses unattended on the back of a chair or in a shopping cart. When distracted, thieves will steal your money, personal information, and credit cards. Once these thieves have your credit cards, they immediately go to nearby stores and purchase as many expensive items as they can. On many occasions the thieves are working in pairs and they now have your personal identification as well, providing them with your home address and other personal information about you, making you vulnerable to a home burglary or identity theft. Avoid placing purses in unattended shopping carts or leaving them on counters or chairs while you are attempting to locate an item or picking up food. If these items are not necessary to have with you, lock them in the trunk of your vehicle and carry your money and/or cards in your front pocket. These simple steps may very well protect you and your family from theft, fraud, and burglaries.