Preventing Theft While Holiday Shopping - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Preventing Theft While Holiday Shopping

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Police are warning shoppers to be on the lookout for thieves.

Shopping for ingredients for the perfect holiday meal is stressful enough.

"I was getting turkey and things like that for Thanksgiving. My eye was not on buggy or my purse the entire time," said theft victim Dianne Turnage.

Police warn when you're distracted while shopping, someone else's is on your wallet.

"When I went into my purse I realized that my wallet was gone," she said.

Turnage went grocery shopping Monday. Her purse was crammed full of things with the wallet sitting on top of her shopping cart. 

"It's devastating," she said. "It's an invasion of your privacy. You feel like you've been violated."

 The thief took her eight credit cards, Social Security card and driver's license.

"It's things we women carry on daily basis," she said. "I could really slim it down some I found out."

Metro police's fraud unit has received four such cases in the last two days.

"People have got holidays on the mind. They want the perfect turkey, the perfect dinner and they're not paying attention to their surroundings and therefore people are taking advantage of them," said Lt. Mickey Garner.

Like Turnage, another woman got robbed in the same grocery store a couple weeks ago. 

Police said the perpetrator staked out her elderly victim for about 20 minutes. As the shopper into a freezer to grab a frozen meal, the thief took her wallet. 

After spending hours getting her credit cards canceled and obtaining fraud alerts to prevent identity theft, Turnage has modified her shopping habits with a new purse and new precautions. 

Still, she hasn't been shopping since.

"No, I have not. I'm not in the shopping mood," she said.

Police said do not leave a purse unattended. Make sure it is zipped up and be extra careful if someone invades personal space. Also, avoid carrying credit cards you don't need.

Police said in the four recent cases, the victims didn't realize their wallets were stolen until they went to check out so they did not provide a description of the thief.

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