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Emptying my wallet before a pickpocket does … again

A popular television commercial asks, “What’s in your wallet?”

Inquiring thieves wanna know.

I thought my wallet was safe. I kept my credit cards under wraps and filed my legal tender currency neatly and in order in my billfold.

Then my purse was stolen, along with all sorts of personal and private information.

Recently, the Kiplinger Report published a slideshow, highlighting several items smart folks will not keep in their wallets. These included birth certificates, blank checks, computer passwords, home keys, multiple credit cards, passports, purchase receipts, Social Security cards and similar confidential information revealers.

I’d like to add a few tote-able taboos, based on a bad experience.

When a thief grabbed by handbag in a fancy suburban grocery store, he also picked up a mini photo album, containing photos of my adorable children. He walked off with my cell phone, on which was stored a contact list with telephone numbers and email addresses. OK, the phone was password-protected, but how safe did that really make it?

He also picked up a couple of prescription drugs, still in their pharmacy-labeled pill bottles. And he made off with my mini-calendar, indicating my upcoming appointments and itinerary.

Seriously, I never thought I’d become a pickpocket victim. I hold onto my handbag. I even strap my purse into grocery cart seat belts, even though I stick close to the cart. I put my purse on the floor of my car, under my own seat, when I drive.

But someone stole from me anyway.

Trust me, it’s a big hassle to re-apply for a driver’s license and to open brand-new bank accounts. It’s a pain to play watchdog with Social Security information and credit card statements, watching for possible identity theft.

But the biggest worry, at least for me, was knowing that a crook had my name and address and photos of my kids, along with my calendar.

Eventually, my missing tote turned up.

Police officers found my stolen purse a few days later in a trash bin at a gas station, about two blocks from the spot where it was taken. My calendar and little photo album were still there. The antibiotics were intact as well. But the wallet was gone, along with my since-cancelled credit cards and license.

That was years ago, and I’m sleeping easier now. But my purse is still a lot lighter than it used to be. And, when I travel, I wear a cross-body handbag like this one:
Woman with Purse by RobertWalton
Public Domain - Wikipedia Commons Photos

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