Hang On To Your Purses; Purse Snatchers Caught, But More Are Out There

Three people who, Fresno police say, snatched purses are behind bars.

Cops say they ripped at least a half-dozen bags from the hands of women all across Fresno, and are warning women to hold on tight to their purses when they go shopping.

"I walked out the store like nothing, I never expect anyone to come up and grab my purse," said Ana Meyer, who walked out of a northeast Fresno store with her purse in her cart.

"We're victims because we really don't pay attention," said Meyer.

Police say a trio of thieves began a purse-snatching spree last Thursday. Saturday, they arrested Robert Demison, a 33-year-old parolee on state-mandated early-release parole, his 18-year-old brother Bebless Demison, and 25-year-old William Garcia of Fresno, who is also an early-release probationer and had an outstanding warrant for violating his probation.

Police say they stole purses from at least 6 women - one was at a Walmart in southeast Fresno, one was in downtown Fresno, and one was in River Park.

All gave police the same description - 2 or 3 men who drove off in a gold colored Saturn.

The three were caught and jailed Saturday, but police warn, there are plenty more purse snatchers out there.

"It would take seconds to take your purse," said Captain Greg Garner with the Fresno Police Department.

All the recent victims were walking away from a store in a parking lot with their purses on their shoulders.

Police advise women to wear a purse with a strap that goes across your body.

Or, be sure to hold your purse from the bottom with one hand, and use your other hand to hold the strap.

"At least give the impression you're not going to let this go easily," said Capt. Garner.

Advice that some women say they just need to be reminded of every so often.

"Now I'm actually going to hold on to it," said Meyer.

And Fresno police say there are more than just 6 victims out there. They're asking women who may have had their purses snatched by a trio of men in a gold colored Saturn to call the police department.

At last check, all three men who were caught Saturday night are still in jail; each face several counts of robbery.