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June 23, 2008

Handbag Security

This might seem a random topic to blog about, but last week, not far from where I live, a woman was killed during a handbag robbery. Most women carry their lives in their handbag. I know I’m guilty of carrying way more stuff than I need. I thought a refresher of some commonsense rules wouldn’t go astray.

Here are a few things we can do to keep both our possessions and ourselves safe.

1. Be aware of your surroundings. When exiting your car in a carpark look to see who is around.

2. Walk with confidence and display positive body language.

3. Avoid walking in badly lit or isolated areas, especially if you’re alone.

4. Keep your bag close. Zip it shut and be wary of anyone who tries to distract you. Don’t leave your bag unattended. e.g. in a supermarket trolley.

5. Keep your car door locked while driving, and avoid leaving valuable items in your car when you leave it, if possible. Secure valuable items in the boot (trunk) before arriving at your destination.

6. Have your keys in your hand before you reach your vehicle. Secure your handbag first before your shopping.

7. Watch your handbags while in restaurants, public toilets. If you’re at a club and dancing have someone you know look after your bag. I’ve done a lot of traveling and I know how quick thieves can be. When I’m traveling I have my hand on my bag at all times. Sitting on the seat beside you is not a good place to keep your bag.

8. Keep your bag in front of you or in your hand while you’re at the bank or a ticket counter.

If you have any other suggestions please let me know.


  1. Amy Ruttan

    I used to not carry a handbag, I would always wear jeans and jam stuff in my pockets. That’s before I had kids and started driving.

    Now I’m a handbag carrier.

    A tip I learned from the OPP when they did this show on how woman could protect them selves is when you’re approaching your car or your home have your keys out and your key held out, so that if you are attacked you can jam that puppy in your attackers eye.

    I always do that now. :mrgreen:

  2. Gabriele

    Never put all your important stuff in one place. When I travel I have money stuffed in the most unlikely places and I don’t keep my ID card where I keep my credit card or the driving license … things like that. So if you get robbed, you’ll at least keep some of your identification stuff and money.

  3. J.K. Coi

    Too scary Shelley. We were robbed once upon a time, and since then I’m ultra careful about protecting my home and my family, and I always carry an over the shoulder purse, instead of just a handbag.

  4. Nancy Henderson

    I’m so scared about having my bag stolen. Thank God, it’s never happened to me, but I always keep it tight in front of me in crowds. These are great tips.

  5. Shelley Munro

    Amy – I try to stuff things in my pockets, too, but often I take my writing stuff and I need a bag to carry that.

    Gabriele – that’s a good point about trying to keep things separate.

    JK – yeah, it is scary. It’s sad that people feel they have to resort to stealing in the first place.

    Nancy – I guess if we apply commonsense and are aware of our surroundings we can listen the chances of having our belongings stolen.

  6. Jenyfer Matthews

    I almost always carry shoulder bags with long straps and then wear my bag diagonally across my body – if I’m in a crowd my hand stays on my bag.

    Another tip: if it comes down to being attacked and robbed for your bag, let it go. There’s nothing in your purse that can’t be replaced.

  7. Shelley Munro

    Good point, Jenyfer. Possessions are replaceable while a life isn’t.