A Flat Bush resident is urging locals to be alert after her handbag was snatched from her lap while she was sitting in her car.
Sushma Sharma was sitting in the driver’s seat while parked on Arronmore Drive outside Texture Cafe in Flat Bush last Wednesday evening when a man opened the passenger door and grabbed her handbag strap.
The man, who is described as aged late 20s or early 30s, around 182cm tall and muscular with a round and chubby unshaven face, wrestled the bag out of Ms Sharma’s hands before fleeing in a grey/green coloured SUV which was parked with its engine running behind Ms Sharma’s car.
Ms Sharma was out with her 9-year-old daughter and 2-year-old niece who had gone back into the shop at the time the bag snatch happened.
Ms Sharma has been left shaken after the “terrifying” incident and says she no longer feels safe in the community and in her home where she has lived happily for the past few years.
“He [the offender] was so confident…the community is not safe,” she said, “The public needs to be aware and alert.”
She said a substantial amount of cash and jewellery was inside the bag when it was stolen, as well as her and her daughter’s passports, chequebooks and her iPhone 6 amongst other valuable information.
Ms Sharma is praising the work of Ormiston Police who she says responded swiftly and took her statement.
Police area prevention manager Senior Sergeant Steve Richards says people should avoid carrying large sums of cash on their person if possible. If it is necessary to do so then people should be aware of their surroundings and who is around when approaching their vehicle.
“If you notice anyone around who seems suspicious then pop back into a store and watch them from the store. If you need to, call police on 111 to report any suspicious behaviour,” he said.
He says it’s also a good idea to lock your doors as soon as you get into the vehicle, or simply unlock the driver’s door if possible, and to avoid placing the handbag anywhere that would be easily reached by a would-be offender.