Police warn of series of southwest Bakersfield purse snatchings

KBAK/KBFX photo, file

The Bakersfield Police Department is warning of a series of purse-snatching incidents it believes to be related.

The purse snatchings have taken place over the last several months in parking lots near Gosford Road between Stockdale Highway and White Lane.

The victims have been women who are alone and getting out of their vehicles.

Only a generic description of the suspect was provided.

David Woods is the owner of Bakersfield Elite Martial Arts. He is offering some self-defense tips in case you ever find yourself in this situation:

  • Before you get out of your car, look around to see if someone may be behind you.
  • When you get out of your car, look around, be alert and assertive.
  • Walk confidently.
  • Do not be detracted on your phone.
  • Do not have headphones in.
  • Hold your keys in your hand like you are holding a "small sward," this will help if you need to defend yourself.
  • If the criminal just wants your purse or money, give it to them.
  • If the criminal is going to hurt, rape or kidnap you, fight for your life.
  • The best place to hit an attacker is in the eyes, ears, throat or groin.
  • If you are attacking the eyes, claw from side to side, not up and down.
  • When you are walking somewhere from your car, keep your phone and wallet in your pocket, or somewhere that is not your purse.

"Eyes, ears, throat and groin. If you focus on those targets, but actually practice them and repeatedly attack all the targets until the attacker becomes the defender, push them away, get back in your car and get out of there," Woods said.

Woods said the goal is always to get away and get to safety.

Police urged caution and asked anyone who spots something suspicious to call (661) 327-7111.

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