Police search for bicyclist who snatched woman's purse along busy sidewalk

Honolulu police are looking for a suspect who snatched a purse from a woman walking on a busy sidewalk along King Street.

Susan Chinn was walking when a bicyclist snatched her clutch and took off.

Signs are now posted in the area warning others about the purse snatcher.

"I had my small purse tucked under my arm. I had my coffee and my phone in the other," she told KHON2. "I was walking like this. Next thing I know, he comes, grabs it, and takes off."

Surveillance footage shows the bicyclist speeding way, and Chinn following behind in shock.

"The scariest part was he was on the sidewalk with me. He wasn't in the bike lane," she said. "I considered myself pretty street savvy, but now I just got to be aware of my surroundings. I think I just got to be too comfortable."

After the incident, Chinn says her friend posted signs to warn others about what happened.

"It's a bit of a wake-up call. I'm glad I wasn't hurt. It could have been a lot worse," she said.

So how can you protect yourself?

Former Honolulu Police Chief Lee Donohue tells us carrying small purses like clutches is not ideal.

Even crossbody bags can be dangerous because you can be dragged by the culprits.

"They grab the purse. The driver hits the gas pedal, and they pull the lady. She spins and she almost went under the wheels of the car," he warned.

Donohue thinks it's better to carry it over your shoulder.

"A lot of times, once they meet this resistance, they are going to take off, because you can see their face, so they want out of there," he said.

Police suggest avoiding distractions, such as cell phones. If you're carrying a handbag, hold it in front of you or close to your body.

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