8 Ways to Limit Financial Loss from Theft of a Purse or Wallet

My wife and I were on our way to visiting my parents and decided to stop by a favorite park to take a walk. The walk lasted about an hour, we left, and arrived at my parents house. Soon after, my wife realized that her purse was missing. As it turns out, she had placed it in the trunk of our car while we went for our walk.

We typically always lock our vehicles, but figured that this time there is a chance that we did not. There were no signs of breaking and entering the vehicle, so the thief must have opened the door, popped the trunk, and taken the purse. Our best guess is that someone was sitting in the parking lot, watched her put the purse in the trunk, and grabbed it while we were on the walk. Quite disturbing when you think about it.

Here’s the Main Items that were Stolen in the Purse:

  • stolen wallet or purseThe purse itself, and a wallet inside
  • A cell phone
  • A brand new digital camera
  • Multiple credit and debit cards
  • A few gift cards
  • About $20 in cash
  • Her drivers license

All-in-all, about $250 worth of stuff was stolen.

So what did we Learn from Getting things Stolen?

  1. Never put something in your trunk that you can slide under the seat instead (purse/wallet, phone, camera). If you’re being watched, like we were, it’s incentive for your trunk to become a target. Don’t leave anything of value in sight. EVER. In our case, being seen putting of value out of sight was no different than leaving it clearly in view.
  2. Your insurance deductible must be paid off before anything of value over the deductible is covered. Our auto insurance deductible is $2500, but only $250 worth of stuff was stolen. Therefore, nothing was covered. Had $3,000 worth of stuff been covered, we would have had to pay a $2,500 deductible, and then the insurance company would have covered the $500 difference between our deductible, and what was stolen.
  3. Cancel your cards immediately. Luckily, we were able to cancel all cards before they were compromised. We first called on our debit cards and then hit the credit cards as soon as we found out the purse was stolen.
  4. We’re thankful she only had $20 in cash in her purse. Really, do you ever need more than that with credit/debit cards? Limit the amount of cash you carry, and don’t carry checks with you unless you use them frequently for purchases.
  5. Don’t leave valuable items like digital cameras in your purse. It’s bad enough to have something like a purse be stolen from you, our thief probably got all he wanted and much more.
  6. Take a photocopy of all of your credit/debit cards, drivers license, and any other personal identifiers. These copies will come in handy when you need to cancel quickly and get replacements.
  7. NEVER keep your social security card in your wallet/purse. My wife didn’t, and that would have been a mess neither of us would be happy to deal with.
  8. Always keep your purse/wallet on you unless you have no option.

Identity Theft/Stolen Purse or Wallet Discussion:

  • Have you been a victim of purse/wallet theft? Do you have additional lessons to share?
  • What’s the most valuable thing you’ve ever had stolen?
  • Let’s hear your personal story!

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