NORTH GREENBUSH, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The North Greenbush Police Department (NGPD) is warning residents about thefts who steal purses and wallets from commercial establishments. NGPD says that this has been a new crime trend for the last several weeks.

This trend has been happening to customers shopping at the Van Rensselaer Square businesses over the last several weeks. Other local police agencies are seeing the same.

According to NGPD, when you’re in a public place, keep very close tabs on your purse or wallet. These thieves are moving quickly and only take a couple of seconds to reach into your purse to grab the wallet out. If you place your purse in the upper part of the shopping cart, don’t leave it this is when the thieves are striking.

Most victims were standing right next to their cart when this happens and we’re looking at items on the shelf for just a couple of seconds. Strapping the purse to the cart is helpful but only if the purse is closed in a way that makes it difficult to open quickly.