Staying safe from purse snatchers

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Bad timing and distraction is all it takes to become a victim. Turn your back for a second and your purse could be gone.

Fresno police said a suspect caught on camera at the Smart & Final last Friday is linked to two other purse robberies. And in one case Lieutenant Joe Gomez said the suspect even greeted the victim.

"He actually walked by the victim and greeted her. Said hello to her so she saw his face clearly."

While Fresno police search for that purse snatcher Visalia police said 20-year-old Omar Camacho is in custody. He and another suspect are accused of taking a woman's purse and throwing her to the ground.

It is because of these crimes Art Hugues teaches self defense. He uses a robbery at Olive and Fresno as an example for his students.

"When they are cruising looking for their targets they are studying. They are studying people, they are looking for that person that's walking down the street and never looks to their right, never looks to their left, never looks behind them, they're straight ahead and paying attention to their cell phone."

In cases where criminals are violent Hugues recommends letting your purse go. But he also teaches students like Maria Adame to fight back.

"I feel confident knowing I can defend myself if I ever had to."

If you are not trained though, Hugues suggests keeping your valuables in your pockets. Or use a carabineer to secure your purse to a shopping cart or stroller. And most importantly be aware of your surroundings.

"Keep a safe distance and be totally aware of your surroundings at all times."

Simple acts to keep yourself out of harms way.

If you are interested in learning how to defend yourself Missing Link MMA is offering a free women's self defense seminar this Saturday morning. Click here for more information or contact Hughes at (559) 213-6591.
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