Snatch theft is a criminal act of forcefully stealing a pedestrian's personal property by employing rob-and-run tactics.
Learn how to avoid becoming a victim of such crimes. The consequences could lead to serious injuries.
how IT happens
- An opportunistic crime, where snatch thieves expect you to be off guard when they strike, and using a few seconds to make their getaway.
- The common method used by snatch thieves is to distract a victim's attention.
when IT can happen
- When victims are distracted / less aware of their surroundings (i.e. looking at mobile phones (with ear phones)).
- When victims flaunt their cash and valuables in public.
The culprit may distract a victim's attention by:
- Approaching a victim on the pretext of striking up a conversation or seeking assistance.
- Snatching the handbag from behind the victim (and fleeing on motorcycle, bicycle or on foot).
- Soiling a victim’s clothing and offering to clean dirt stains on it.
- Telling a victim that his money has dropped on the floor.
crime prevention tips
« Be alert and attentive to your surroundings. Avoid looking at the mobile phone all the time (with earphones).
« Be especially wary when someone walks up to you for assistance. If someone is following you, head to a crowded area; if someone is trying to get close to you, move away.
« Avoid wearing a lot of jewellery.
« Avoid carrying large sums of cash. If holding large sums of cash, keep them away out of public view.
« When withdrawing money at the ATMs, be on alert of your surroundings. If withdrawing a large amount, immediately keep them away out public view.
« Avoid placing wallet in the back pocket.
« Carry sling bags in front of body and ensure bag is fastened or zipped at all times.
« Always walk on the pavement along the road, facing against traffic. Carry handbag on the side that is away from motorists.
« Carry a shrill alarm to scare off the culprit or shout for passers-by attention during emergencies.
« If being followed, stay calm and walk towards a high human traffic area or call the Police for help. If possible, observe the suspect's appearance, attire, height, or any distinctive physical features.
WHEN YOU ARE ALONE
« Never take short cuts through dark, quiet and secluded places.
« Walk in well-lit paths and areas at night, where there are human traffic.
« Avoid going out at night alone. If you have to, go out in a group or get someone trusted to accompany you.
« When returning home late at night, arrange to be escorted from a safe place, (i.e. bus stop, carpark or lift lobby) by a family member or someone trusted.
WHEN TAKING THE LIFT TO GO HOME
« Avoid looking the at mobile phone and stay alert of your surroundings. Be wary of strangers following you or loitering at the lift landing or void decks.
« Avoid entering lifts with a stranger. Let the stranger take the lift and wait for the next one.
« When entering the lift alone, stay close to the lift button panel. Press “Door Open” and step out immediately if a stranger rushes in as the lift door is closing.
« Never let your children wear expensive jewellery especially when going to school, playgrounds or shopping centres.
« Advise your children to avoid walking in dark or deserted places.
« Teach them to be wary of strangers and not to follow them; and to move away from strangers who try to get close to or touch them. They should inform their teacher or you, if strangers approach them in public.
« Invest in a shrill alarm for your children to scare off the culprit or to shout for passers-by attention during emergencies.
« If being confronted by a snatch thief, stay calm and take note of his or her appearance, attire, height, or any other distinctive physical features if possible. Avoid resistance to cause further physical harm. Call the police for assistance when it is safe to do so.
« Help to educate and remind your elderly folks to avoid being a victim of crime for snatch theft. The elderly especially, are more vulnerable to greater injuries from snatch thefts.
Call Police for assistance if you are a witness or if you are victim of such crimes. Do it from a safe distance and/ or location.
Stay calm and observe the suspect's appearance, attire, height, or any distinctive physical features; as well as the suspect's location or the direction the suspect went.
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