Purse snatchings on the rise | NevadaAppeal.com

Purse snatchings on the rise

Nevada Appeal Staff Report

Carson City officials are warning residents to be on alert after a recent rash of purse thefts from local businesses, vehicles and government office buildings.

Between May and August at least a dozen wallets and purses were stolen from area businesses and vehicles, including a wallet stolen from a purse as a woman tried on a wedding gown; a beauty salon employee’s purse disappearing from the break room after a man asked to use the restroom; a purse stolen from a state office building on East William Street; and another from a car as its owner attended a birthday party in northwest Carson City.

“We are seeing an increase in this type of theft crime. In these cases, the thief or thieves were brazen, walking into local businesses and grabbing customers’ and employees’ purses while they are shopping, trying on clothing, or working,” said District Attorney Neil Rombardo in a press release. “Most disturbingly, we believe that in some of these cases, the suspect or suspects obtained the victims’ house keys, addresses, and other personal identifying information, with the intent of burglarizing their residences at a later date or committing additional fraud-related crimes.”

Thomas Jeffreys, 22, a suspect in a number of the purse thefts, was arrested on Aug. 20 after attempting to sell suspected stolen property to a local antique store.

The property in question was stolen in a home burglary earlier that day.

Investigators believe the burglar gained entry to the home using a house key stolen in an auto burglary weeks earlier.

On Aug. 26, Troy Robert Garcia, 42, was arrested after snatching a customer’s purse from a North Carson Street beauty salon. No connection has been established between the two suspects.

“I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to keep your personal possessions and personal information safe and under your control at all times. Do not leave checkbooks, credit cards, or other valuable personal possessions in your car, do not leave your purses or wallets unattended at stores, salons, or even in your workplace, unless you know it is secure,” Sheriff Ken Furlong said in the release. “We need to make it as difficult as possible for these thieves.”