By Judy from Memphis, TN
The thief immediately went using my Visa card inside the mall and then tried to get gas and charge another big amount at Best Buy before Chase denied the card.
We are not responsible for the $2,000 + that was put on my card (thankfully). I filed a police report and have done other things in hopes of helping law enforcement to catch the thief. The officer said they've had many reports of this very thing happening at that particular restaurant.
My advice, ladies, is don't do what I did and that is to hang your purse from your chair. I didn't want to place on the dirty floor but wish I had. Would have saved me much aggravation!
This restaurant is just the kind of place where this kind of crime could easily happen. It is kind of dark, very busy, lots of people milling around and you are easily distracted, especially if you're a Mom of young kids like me!
Better yet, leave your purse at home and let hubby carry your ID. Perhaps just bring a little purse with only the bare essentials.
I knew exactly what was in my wallet and it wasn't a lot: not much cash, a Visa card, ATM card, Sam's Club card and driver's license. Within 1/2 hour or so of returning home, I had the cards all canceled. We had a message from Chase about our Visa on our answering machine asking us to call immediately regarding the large charges. I was able to get a new driver's license the next morning.
Carry only what you really need and nothing you'd be sad/upset if you had stolen. No one needs tons of credit cards. Do not carry your Social Security card!
Someone very carefully and sneakily unzipped my purse and lifted my wallet without any of us being the wiser.
This restaurant really should let the patrons know or try to have security in place. I doubt though they want to advertise that customers are being robbed there, not too good for business.
Sorry this is so long but wanted to get the message out to be very careful with where you put your valuables when you are out in public. Take care with your wallets, purses and packages.
I will not be returning to the Rain Forest Cafe any time soon. It gives me a real bad feeling even when I think about it. Their prices are very high for what you get anyway. You're paying for the atmosphere which our children really enjoy but I definitely could live without after this incidence!
By Debbie52 from IL
By Mary from Bay Minette, AL
By Ms. Syd Barr - Dunkirk, MD
I went to the hardware section of Walmart and bought a carabiner. A carabiner is one of those hooks climbers use that you see now on water bottles or tubes of sunscreen. I put the hook on the shoulder strap of my purse.
When I go to the store, I put my purse on the baby seat and just clip the hook to the cart. It only takes a second to clip it on and off. It is much safer than using the seat belt. My everyday purse is multicolored and the clip I got is blue, so it matches. Cashiers almost always remark about how much safer this is than the seat belt.
I also put one on the strap of my cell phone so I can just hook my phone to my belt loop or to my purse, or whatever. I got some smaller ones and put my house keys on one, my car keys on another, etc. I also put all of those little discount cards the stores give me on one.
I can quickly give the clerk my card without handing over all my keys, or I can give my gas key to the gas station attendant quickly (Yes, I live in Oregon where we aren't allowed to fill our own tank). Carabiners have so many uses, I love them.
By DiJones from Wilsonville, OR
Where can I find purse safety straps?
By Jim from Indio, CA
I am not so sure if you can purchase just the straps but here's some online info about safety purses: http://www.corporatetravelsafety.com/security_purse.html
You could always call a few shoe repairs places (they also repair purses) and see what they have to say. Hope this helps.
Have a Safe Shopping Trip. Lock in your purse while shopping.
Take the safety seat belt on the shopping cart and run it through the straps on your purse and hook it. If someone tries to grab your purse, the strap will STOP them. At least for enough time for you to scream OR get Help. Happy Shopping.
Source: This article is from me. I hope it will save someone purse.
By Mary Louise from BayMinette, AL
That checkbook was taken in the twinkling of an eye. Good ending: It was returned two weeks later, according to the manager, but with HALF of the cash that was in it for the day. I thanked the squirrely manager. As I took and looked for all the cash, commenting to him, "Please thank whoever took this for not taking ALL of the cash!" He nodded OK before he realized that it implicated an employee or someone he knew!
I'd never suspected that a store employee was stealing from patrons until that happened. You can't trust ANYONE now days! And, it's going to get worse, not better because of the way things are changing in our economy, laws, government.
Buckle up, sit tight, hold on, open your eyes and ears, and STAY ALERT ALL OF THE TIME. God bless and keep you. : ) (02/16/2008)
You'd be better off putting your wallet and car keys in an inside pocket while you're shopping. And don't leave any important stuff in your purse, like credit cards, drivers license, Social security card, etc. When the thieves use your credit cards, they'll be using your id too.
I've seen purses returned intact many times by store clerks, and only once in 4 years did I hear of one case where a clerk tried to steal something from a customer. That clerk got caught and fired. (02/16/2008)
Strapping your purse in the baby seat of a cart won't do any good if you look away or leave your cart on one side of the aisle while you pick out your item on the other side.
I still like to carry a purse when I go out but I use a smallish one and only carry minimal essentials.
It is terrible that there are so many crooks out in the world but that's how it is and I don't see it changing. If anything it will get worse. There's always someone who wants what others have. (02/16/2008)
By Lily May
By Barb. W.