Purse snatching caught on tape in Belltown

Purse snatching caught on tape in Belltown

Purse snatching caught on tape in Belltown

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by HEATHER GRAF / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @HeatherGrafK5

KING5.com

Posted on September 20, 2013 at 11:14 PM

A Seattle woman stripped of her credit cards, driver's license, car keys, and cash is sharing the story and video of her purse snatching, in hopes that it doesn't happen to anyone else.

It happened while she was at Ohana Restaurant & Sushi Bar in Belltown, but the victim says it could easily happen anywhere, to any woman.

She set her purse down on the barstool next to her and turned her back for just a minute.

"While we were looking over the menu, apparently my purse was lifted right off the chair," she said.

The victim did not want to be identified, since the thieves already know so much about her.

She says the staff at Ohana was extremely helpful, and immediately directed her to their cameras, that captured the entire theft on tape.

In it, you can see a man and two women sitting at the end of the bar.  They pay their bill in cash, and as they leave Ohana, the man nonchalantly picks up her purse, and walks out.

"They went to Ross, they went to McDonald's, they made a phone payment to T-Mobile.  It was upwards of $300 before my bank noticed there was something fraudulent going on," said the victim.

The bartender at Ohana says something seemed off about the thieves, from the time they sat down.

"It was a weird conversation they were having, that I was overhearing, it was about someone's nephew being in jail, and they were very open and loud about it," said Brent Stone.

Stone says he'll now try to remind female customers to keep a close watch over their purses.

"As long as you can feel in on you or have it touch you in some kind of way so you can feel it when it moves, that's my best advice," he says.

It's advice Seattle Police are also giving out.  They say you should keep your purse in your direct line of vision, where you can see it and even feel it. 

Women can also take advantage of the hooks a lot of places now have beneath their bars, that let you hang your purse directly in front of you. 

If all else fails, police say, the safest place for your purse might be right in your lap.

If you recognize the thieves in that surveillance video, call Seattle Police.

"My priority is just to have them identified so they can't do this again," said the victim.

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