Serial purse snatcher targeting victims in Queens and Staten Island

Posted at 6:26 PM, Apr 03, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-03 18:30:38-04

WOODSIDE, Queens (PIX11) — It seems like this serial purse snatcher is preying on unsuspecting shoppers here in Queens and over in Staten Island.

Police say the woman has struck at least eight times targeting shoppers who leave their valuables unattended.

Mara Giron learned to keep a close eye on her purse after it was stolen while she was shopping a long time ago. “It happened to me about 20 years ago,” Giron said.

Since then she keeps her purse securely tucked under her arm whenever she goes out shopping.

But, many shoppers who aren’t as attentive have become the target of this woman.

Police say 43-year-old Rehana Hussain has struck four times in Queens and four times in Staten Island, stealing wallets, credit cards, and even entire hand bags from shoppers who aren’t paying attention. She then runs up bills on her victims’ credit cards.

“Wow that’s really shady. I had no idea. I have to keep myself safe I guess,” Tim Abraham said of this serial purse snatcher.

In one of the incidents, police say a potential victim caught Hussain and an accomplice in the act. That shopper stopped the pair from stealing her purse, but seven other shoppers weren’t as lucky.

That’s why shoppers we spoke to here in Sunnyside say they won’t let their valuables out of their sight.

It seems like Hussain is bouncing from store to store in both boroughs, so there’s no telling where she might strike next.

If you have any information on her whereabouts police ask that you call Crime Stoppers at 1800-577-tips and remember to always keep an eye on that wallet or purse.