Shoppers often think they're being safety conscious with their purses when actually they're leaving the door wide open to theft.
NBC4 wanted to find out the biggest mistakes female shoppers make, so we went to our expert: LAPD Det. Dennis Bopp. Here's what he told us:
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1. Putting your purse on your shoulder is great. But leaving the zipper open is not. It's very easy for a thief to slide his or her hand inside an open bag. Just because it's hanging on your shoulder doesn't automatically put it off limits.
2. Keeping one hand on the strap of your purse while it's in the basket is not enough to secure it. The bad guy can still reach inside to get your wallet. Bopp said he saw this three times recently.
3. Keeping more things in your wallet than you really need, for instance your Social Security card, too many credit cards or your pin numbers. Seniors are especially guilty of keeping pin numbers handy because they have a harder time remembering. But if a thief gets these, your identity is up for grabs.
4. Looking for coupons with your wallet wide open. You're basically advertising what's inside.
5. Something else that gives women a false sense of security is strapping their purses into the cart. All that does is make sure no one takes your purse. But thieves just want your wallet. And strapping your purse in is not going to stop them from slipping a hand inside your purse to snatch your wallet.
6. Some women think that just zipping your purse closed - but leaving it unattended in the cart - will hold the crooks at bay. Wrong. A good thief can slide a zipper open in seconds.
Bopp has one more warning: generally thinking that anyone - or even a combination - of these steps replaces overall awareness of your surroundings is also mistake. A healthy dose of skepticism toward anyone coming into "your space" is always the best defense.