BELLEVILLE, Il (KMOV.com) – Police in Belleville want all shoppers to know that there has been an increase in purse thefts at a local Walmart.
Authorities are now urging any shoppers at the Walmart, located on Green Mount Commons Drive in Belleville, should keep their purses on them at all times and not leave them unattended in the shopping cart.
“The targets are random and it raises our concern level,” said Belleville Police Sergeant Mark Heffernan. “[We] are encouraging women to not leave their purses unattended. In all these cases, the women left their purses in the shopping cart.”
A representative with Walmart said they are working closely with the Belleville Police and have handed over surveillance video to authorities for the investigation. Officials say the next step for the Belleville Walmart is to evaluate their security needs, however, they would not comment if addition security officers had been added to the store.
“[This] does concern me. I do it all the time. I leave my purse in the cart, and grab an item,” said Tabitha Bennett, a shopper. “It makes me think I should change what I do.”
Police are encouraging shoppers to be aware of their surroundings and if they see any suspicious activity, report it directly to the Walmart staff or Belleville Police.
The investigation is ongoing.