Man snatched my purse and I got it back.

prof ash

O.G.
Jun 10, 2007
2,419
413
USA
I have a story to share with you all. I am very angry about this today, the more I think about it, and I think telling it here will help me feel better.

I was at Barnes & Noble last night with my boyfriend. We go every weekend, get books/magazines, coffee, and sit in the cafe. We have friends that go there every weekend as well and we see them, catch up, talk and whatnot.

Last night, we sat down at a table and a man at a nearby table was sitting alone, no coffee, and reading a book. There were 2 Russian men sitting by him and he yelled at them, "Hey! Hey! Where are you from! Huh? Georgia? Are you Czech?" And they ignored him. I looked up when he did this - thinking it was very rude - and immediately looked away because when I made eye contact, he seemed a little not right - creepy, maybe under the influence of something - and I did not want him to know that I was acknowledging him sitting there.

My BF got up to put milk in his coffee a good 10 minutes later, and within a minute, I here someone say "SHHH" very loudly. I look up and my purse is gone from the chair next to me, and I see him half way through the cafe with MY COACH CLUTCH under HIS ARM.

I bolted out of my seat and yelled as loud as I could "Excuse me sir, what do you think you are doing!" and ran after him. He dropped it on a Godiva stand and kept walking. I followed him and yelled "What the F*CK do you think you were doing?" and followed him to the store entrance, yelling "He tried to take my purse!"

Everyone around immediately started saying to call the police (the store manager did), and a policeman got there in minutes. I gave him a description, and one of my friends actually followed the man out of the store and saw him get into his vehicle - which was parked on the complete opposite side of the complex (past an Applebees and a Bon Ton).

Today, looking back on it, I am fuming. I should've yelled "Thief!" I wish someone had ran after him - like those 2 Russian guys when he shooshed them, and pummelled him so the cop could arrest him for attempted theft. It is on camera as well. I just hope he didn't go somewhere else and try something worse that night, because he seemed out with a plan to do that. I was shocked he had the nerve to shoosh people right by me as if to say, "Don't let her know I'm doing this," or, "It's just a joke I'm playing, don't react." My first thought was- oh hell no, he is NOT getting out of here with my purse. I didn't follow him because once I got it back, I didn't want him to turn around with a knife or something. He was grimy and scary - also over 6'0 and I am 5'0.

So ladies - we can never be *too* careful. I am an overly careful person, and I feel angry that someone thought he could take advantage of me, especially at a place I frequent weekly that has a high volume of customers. I must say - people were very helpful (although no one got up when I yelled and the managers didn't ask me if I was okay or anything, they were actually smiling like haha wow). The lady sitting next to me told me she saw him come over by the window we were at a few time and eye her back beforehand. I am thankful he didn't just bolt out of the emergency door there - my bag would've been gone. I feel stupid, yet thankful. I am going to be even more careful now. Maybe invest in a crossbody and just NEVER take it off. Ugh!
 

mielikki55

Member
Nov 21, 2006
1,395
2
That is a scary situation and you are lucky that he didn't pull out a knife or anything. But good for you for getting your bag back!! I would have gone nuts if it were my purse. It's a good reminder for all us to not be so lax with guarding our bags.
 

bethany

O.G.
Dec 29, 2005
726
1
Yikes. Barnes and Noble is such a haven for crazy homeless people.

I think if you had yelled THIEF people might have reacted, but sometimes (especially when it's crowded) people don't pay attention to their surroundings when it's just loud talking. I know at my B&N, there are lots of teenagers who tend to be jackasses and would make a scene like that for no reason.

That would definitely piss me off though. I normally just put my bag on the chair behind me, but I will probably start keeping it in my lap.

*edit because I said "people" like 40 times*
 

serene

Vintage since '08
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Mar 23, 2008
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York
I think you're very brave :smile: when I was working in the cafe and collecting some dishes and then turned around towards the till I noticed this unclean man wondering around the buns. I took this friendly smile on my face and was ready to say hello but then he took quickly one bun and started to walk away.
I froze and didn't know what to do. Immediately I heard the voice saying in my head danger danger and don't go any closer. Maybe I've seen too many reality shows where people show security tapes what happens in kiosks etc. when someone comes to rob it and when the cashier says no the burglar takes the knife out..

I probably would have just stand there and let the man take my purse in your situation :nogood: but luckily nothing happened to you when you started going after him.
 

prof ash

O.G.
Jun 10, 2007
2,419
413
USA
serene you're right, i didn't know what he had on him and for all i know, he could've had a knife or a gun. i guess my instincts jumped in and i went into attack mode or something .. "must bag back from a**hole," or something :smile:

bethany i REALLY, really wish i had yelled "thief" so people could have stopped him. you're right about the teenagers- it's the same way at the barnes & noble by me, and i realized, for all people knew, i was in a domestic dispute with the man and knew him. they didn't realize he took my bag and that's why i was chasing him after i said it.
 

tillie46

O.G.
Aug 28, 2009
16,827
65
I'm so glad you're O.K., and he didn't get your purse. I wasn't so lucky with my 35cm Black Birkin that was an anniversary present from my husband. It was taken out of my car when I was swiping my CC at a gas station...........I was out of the car for 15 seconds. Be careful..EVERYONE!! They are doing this as a business! :crybaby: BTW....I didn't get it back :true:
 

ChristyR143

Really?
O.G.
Aug 7, 2007
5,098
1
Texas
Wow! I'm so glad you got it back! You know, we can always look back and think "Well, I should have done this, or I should have done that" but I think you handled it great. Too bad no one tackled him so he could get arrested, but at least he didn't get away with the purse!
 

Lady Stardust

Je m'en foutiste
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Nov 28, 2009
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That's crazy, what a nut! Barnes and Noble can get some serious weirdos, when I was younger on 2 separate occasions weird druggies have tried to pick up me and my friends and one was super aggressive. I'm glad you got your bag back!
 

prof ash

O.G.
Jun 10, 2007
2,419
413
USA
I'm so glad you're O.K., and he didn't get your purse. I wasn't so lucky with my 35cm Black Birkin that was an anniversary present from my husband. It was taken out of my car when I was swiping my CC at a gas station...........I was out of the car for 15 seconds. Be careful..EVERYONE!! They are doing this as a business! :crybaby: BTW....I didn't get it back :true:
omg, that's terrible and very very sneaky :sad: i can't believe they would go into your car like that. i'm sorry :sad:
 

sbelle

O.G.
Mar 14, 2009
17,509
5,706
What a terrible story! I am glad you are ok and got your bag back.

I have heard a lot of stories like this and so now I always just put my bag on my lap when I am sitting down.
 

sbelle

O.G.
Mar 14, 2009
17,509
5,706
omg, that's terrible and very very sneaky :sad: i can't believe they would go into your car like that. i'm sorry :sad:
I lived in a neighborhood a few years ago where there were a number of purse thefts. The thieves would come through the neighborhood and if they saw a garage door open, they would come in and look for things to steal. 100% of the time the home owner was in the house, but the thieves would brazenly walk into the garage. In many cases the woman's handbag would be sitting in the car and it was stolen.

Apparently a lot of women felt like if their car was in their garage, it was ok to leave the bag in the car. They never dreamed somenoe would walk into their garage.

I should explain this was in the South so the weather was warm and people did tend to leave their garage doors open when they were home. It was a nice upscale neighborhood and people felt like they were safe there. Within a few week period there were about 20 handbag thefts from cars in garages.
 
Jul 21, 2006
12,966
1,750
Southwest Florida
I saw a woman at Walmart the other day just completely walk away from her shopping cart with her bag sitting in the baby seat! I was astounded that she would do that. Also, I saw an elderly woman walk through the mall with her husband with her purse in one hand with the zippered compartment completely wide open. It was a double-handled bag and she was holding it by one handle so that it was sagging down by the floor. I just had to walk past her and tell her that her purse was hanging open with her wallet in plain view. She totally thanked me, but I know I am very very aware of how I carry my bag anywhere. Especially in this economy.