Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

April 26, 2013

Purse thefts rise in Princeton

By CHARLES OWENS
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

PRINCETON — City police are investigating a rash of smash-and-grab purse thefts from vehicles parked at evening sporting events in Princeton.

“Women when they go to these events don’t want to carry their purses in,” Capt. P.W. Hill of the Princeton Police Department said. “They are leaving their purse in the front seat. If they have to bring their purse with them it would be my suggestion that they put the purse in the trunk of the car before they leave home. The trunk is a place that conceals the purse completely. And it is something they can do before they leave home.”

Hill said the police department has investigated between 10 to 15 smash-and-grab purse cases in the city limits during the past few weeks.

“It’s definitely becoming a problem,” Hill said. “We deal with it every year. They prey upon people.”

Hill said the thefts have been a big problem at evening sporting events in the Princeton area, including the recent basketball games and now baseball games.

“It is different locations where it is happening,” Hill said. “It seems to be sporting events where you have a large group of vehicles parked on the lot. They are really hitting us hard at these sporting events.”

Hill said the thieves are normally breaking the glass of the vehicle window when a purse is visible.

“They go for cash and anything they can dispose of (quickly),” Hill said. “We would suggest people secure their vehicles. Especially women with purses. Put those in the trunk, or secure them out of sight before they get to these venues.”

Hill said anyone with information regarding the purse thefts is asked to contact the Princeton Police Department at 304-487-5000.