Shopping Safety Tips

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Knoxville (WVLT) -- Last Friday we told told you about a woman who had a prescription snatched from her.

Turns out there are other reports of stolen purses in store parking lots.

So, have any arrests been made?

What can you do to stay safe when you go shopping?

We went to the police and local merchants for answers.

"You'll have times of the year where you'll have several and you'll have a period where you'll actually have none," said Darrell DeBusk, public information officer for the Knoxville Police.

Right now there have been several purse snatchings and purse thefts, but DeBusk says they're not connected.

"You don't have a lot of people out there trying to do a purse snatching," he said. "Usually, you just have a couple or three people and they're just repeating the thefts throughout the city."

Recently, separate arrests have been made in Knox County related to purse snatchings.

Dustin Jeremy Akers is charged with burglary and aggravated assault while Jason Mikel Dixon faces charges in Knox County, Knoxville, and Lenoir City including a purse theft charge.

Lots of shops have security, but how can you keep from becoming a victim?

"You should realize that criminals by definition are lazy," said Brian Davis, general manager of Murray Guard. "So, what's going to happen is they are going to go for the easiest prey."

Experts and merchants suggest coming up with a "keep safe" routine and put it into action every time you're out.

"What you want to do is make sure you have your hands-free, have your keys out, and take a quick look in your car before you get in it," Davis said. "Make sure the back seat is clear and there's no one hiding around it."

We talked to a purse snatching victim from who didn't want her face shown.

She says that since having her purse stolen she has taken some precautions when out shopping

"I don't go anywhere by myself, I always have a buddy or partner with me," the woman said. "I keep my driver's license and my money in my pocket now. I don't even take my pocketbook with me hardly anymore."

Brian Davis adds that you should walk with confidence, keep your head up, make eye contact, and don't hesitate to ask a store security guard to walk you to your car.

For more safety tips, you can click on the link below.

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