With purse snatching on the rise across Fresno, women flock to self-defense training

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Authorities say purse snatchers are targeting women this holiday season but some ladies are fighting back.

Desiree Oliver doesn't know what it's like when criminals get violent, but, at 11 years old, she's learning how to minimize the effects. She and her mom practiced landing punches against an attacker during a free self-defense class at Missing Link MMA.

"I'm going to use this practice they gave me and I'm going to put a whooping on them," Robin Oliver of Fresno said.

The boxing lesson comes courtesy of former professional boxer Jennifer Alcorn, who came to support Art Hugues. He organizes these free classes a few times a year and packs a pretty mean punch himself. But he says Alcorn can reach the women on a different level.

"She's showing, absolutely, that women can do this, 'I could do that,'" he said. "They're watching a woman do this right now."

In a month when we've seen surveillance video of purse snatchers in parking lots and inside stores, Hugues shows his class how to survive. He says if criminals are violent, letting the purse go may be your best bet.

But a few simple moves may help you fight back and direct the violence back at the attacker so you can keep your purse and get away safely.
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