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The City of Portland, Oregon

Police Bureau

Sworn to protect. Dedicated to serve.

Phone: 503-823-0000

Non-Emergency: 503-823-3333

1111 S.W. 2nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

More Contact Info

Wallet or Purse Snatch

Prevention Tips
  • Don’t carry a purse.
  • Be aware that robbers tear rear pockets to steal wallets; carry your money elsewhere.
  • Sew pockets on the inside of clothing and place keys, money, and other necessary items there.
  • Take only necessary I.D. cards and money when going on short trips.
  • If you insist on carrying a handbag, use a small clutch bag with no straps to entangle you. Carry your handbag against your body under your arm. Don’t let it dangle free. Carry your keys in a pocket.
  • When possible, do your shopping or banking during morning hours. Arrange to have your social security checks directly deposited into your bank account.
  • Never leave your handbag unattended in grocery carts, public restrooms, at automatic teller machines, in your car, or in any other place where strangers may easily grab and run with it.
  • Take a companion with you when going out.
  • Walk with confidence and stay alert to your surroundings.
If Your Handbag or Wallet is Stolen
  • If given the option, surrender your handbag, don’t resist.
  • Should you fall, assess any injuries before trying to get up. If you are able to stand, rise slowly to maintain your balance.
  • Stay calm and in control. Get a detailed description of your assailant(s).
  • Note the direction of your assailant(s) and if appropriate, a description of the vehicle.
  • If there are witnesses, ask them to stay until police arrive.
  • Call 9-1-1 immediately. Write down your impressions if you can’t get to a phone right away.
  • Notify your bank and other creditors if your cards and checks are stolen. Keep a list of account and phone numbers handy.
  • If your house keys are stolen, re-key the locks as soon as possible. It is usually not necessary to replace the entire lock.
  • Contact the District Attorney’s Victim Assistance Project (503-988-3222) for aid and support. You may qualify for financial compensation if you are physically injured and incur medical bills or if you need to replace glasses or dentures that were broken during the robbery.
Automatic Teller Machine Safety Tips
  • Pay attention to the area around the automatic teller machine. Avoid using machines that are in secluded or dark areas.
  • Don’t use the machine if others appear to be loitering. If others approach while you are using the machine and you question their motives, terminate the transaction and leave.
  • While using the ATM, don’t let others stand closely behind you. Block their view so they cannot see your transaction.
  • Be sure to remove your card when you are done.
  • Memorize your Personal Identification Number (PIN). Do not write it on the card itself or on a note in your wallet or purse. Destroy duplicate cards.
  • Never tell your PIN to anyone. You will NEVER be asked for your PIN by a bank employee.
  • When selecting your PIN, don’t use the last four digits of your Social Security Number, your birth date, or any other code which will be easy for a criminal to figure out.
  • Criminals will try to trick you into telling them your PIN. Once they have your stolen card and PIN, they have total access to your account.
  • Know where your card is at all times. Call 9-1-1 immediately if you are robbed.
  • Get a complete description of the robbers and their car. Note which direction they take.
  • Notify the bank immediately if your card is lost or stolen.