With the long weekend and good weather at Mr. Locksmith we were very busy with customers who had their purses stolen. Locksmith service calls ranged from locked out of their homes, no keys for their cars and rekeying locks, mailboxes and businesses.
The most common place for women having their purses stolen was while they were having coffee enjoying the sunshine (at least on Easter Saturday). The purses were draped over the back of their seats or under the table. All the women who had their purses stolen were shocked because they thought they were in a nice place. The locations for having purses stolen ranged from Kitsilano, Point Grey, Downtown Vancouver and Walmart.
A stolen purse is a goldmine for the criminals. One victim called her Credit card company within 15 minutes of noticing her purse gone and the crooks had already used her Credit card to buy gas. Identity theft is a huge problem and having all your identification and bank information makes it easy for the criminals.
I recommend the following what to do if your purse is stolen:
1. Credit Cards: Call your Credit card company asap. Tell them you have had your purse stolen with all your identification. The Credit Card company will give you several options ranging from canceling your cards to an account number change. Note: Some Credit cards have theft insurance on items that have been purchased with their credit cards.
2. Bank: Call your Bank and report the theft. They will cancel your ATM card(s), chequing accounts etc.
3. Police: Report the theft to your local Police. Many people do not report the theft because they think the police can not do anything. However, you should report the theft to the police in case your identification is found or to get a police file number for your insurance company.
4. Check the immediate area garbage cans and dumpsters. Many criminals only take your cash and Credit cards and dump the purse and maybe your drivers license or other important information.
5. Keys: Return home asap and if your house keys were in the purse. The purse theft now has not only your credit cards and house keys but your identification of where you live. Call Mr. Locksmith and rekey your house or apartment doors. If you live in a building with key fob access to the front door and/or elevator and underground parking call your property manager or Strata to cancel the fobs. Each key fob has an unique id number so they can be cancelled and new fobs issued. NOTE: Even if your keys are recovered rekey your locks. Your keys may have been duplicated. *Rekey your locks asap. Some people return home after their purse and keys have been stolen to find they are now victimized again by a break and enter.
6. Mailbox: Rekey your mailbox. Mr. Locksmith can rekey or replace your mailbox lock even if you have no mailbox keys. Again, your keys may have been duplicated.
7. Car or Truck: If you have no extra keys our Mr. Locksmith Automotive locksmith can make you extra keys and with a newer car we can reprogram the car so the stolen keys will no longer start the car. If you don’t have a Club or Steering Wheel lock purchase one and use it every day, even if your car has an alarm system. Read my column on Clubs. Note: Mr. Locksmith can rekey your car but it can be costly and it will not slow a determined thief from getting into your car. Again read my previous Blog.
8. Motor Vehicle Branch: Report your stolen driver’s license to the Motor Vehicle Branch. They will re-issue you a new drivers license.
9. Insurance: Contact your insurance agent or company. Some homeowners policies have coverage that may help with the locksmith expenses and identity theft.
10. Fraud Alert: You must ask for the license of your locksmith and input it into this government webpage to make sure it’s valid before you deal with them, or you could be getting ripped off! Don’t be a victim twice in one day. Unlicensed and Unqualified Locksmiths are operating in Vancouver.
Protect yourself, you can “Verify Locksmith Security Business license” at the following BC Government site: