Attempted purse snatching takes strange twist

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Donna Shelton always knew of the threat of purse snatching in large parking lots, but today she has a better appreciation for the warnings. Shelton recalled what happened Sunday in the parking lot of a large discount store.  " I was taking things out of the buggy, placing them in my car and something caught my attention.  I saw a car come racing towards me and it scared me because she was going to hit me." Shelton illustrated with her hand how a woman in the car reached out.  " And her arm came out the window. She was trying to grab for what was in the seat of the buggy and I jerked the buggy back away from her. "

The action caused the culprit to speed off empty handed, but not before Shelton got the license plate number.    Shelton has the numbers embedded in her mind, but later bame concerned she may have gotten the license plate numbers out of order. The next day while driving to an errand she casually looked at the car in front of her to see how plate numbers are arranged. To Shelton's amazement, " When I looked at the license plate on that car it was the car that had tried to steal the purse. " Shelton followed the vehicle and notified authorities. The information is giving them a break in the case.

Meanwhile, Shelton has sent out a mass e-mail warning women to be careful. Her advice, " Ladies, watch your purses. Just be aware of your surroundings. " The U.S. Department of Justice reports over 174,000 attempted purse snatchings occurred in the United States in 2006. Then there are all the others that didn't go reported. Now when Shelton goes shopping she straps her purse into the buggy.