West Springfield Police continue investigation into recent purse snatchings at Riverdale Shops | News


WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) — Police are investigating a recent increase in purse snatchings in West Springfield. Now, they are asking women to be extra careful when shopping at night.

Shoppers at Riverdale Shops in West Springfield are feeling on edge after news of a spike in purse snatchings.

“Everyone wants to be safe,” said Donna Buoniconti.

West Springfield Police said there have been four reports of purse snatching within the past three weeks that all took place in the parking lots of Riverdale Shops.

“We’re not sure if they’re connected. There are definitely several suspects, several different individuals and vehicles involved, so we aren’t sure if they are connected just yet,” said West Springfield Police Sgt. Joseph LaFrance.

Officers told Western Mass News that the suspects are targeting women who are alone and typically older than 50.

“They’re taking opportunities to grab these purses that are unattended just for a split second and they’re grabbing purses out of carriages or just out of trunks of cars,” LaFrance added.

The crimes are happening during the late afternoon and early evening hour. Police said that if you do have to go shopping during those hours to try not to go alone and to never leave your purse in the cart unattended.

Shoppers we caught up with on Wednesday were already taking those steps.

“We’re here all the time and I keep an eye on it all the time,” said Jose Delgado.

Carol Wright’s daughter warned her about the string of thefts Wednesday morning before they left to go grocery shopping. That’s why she chose to leave her purse at home for the trip.

“I took my debit card and a list…I left the rest at home,” Wright noted.

Buoniconti said she always does her shopping in the early part of the day when its light out and she never goes alone.

“I’m usually not alone. I’m usually with one of my sons and that makes a big difference because I can’t run very fast,” Buoniconti explained.

Police said they are increasing patrols around the parking lots of Riverdale Shops and they are reviewing evidence and actively looking for suspects.

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