Serial purse snatcher targeting victims in Queens and Staten Island

Posted at 9:45 PM, Apr 03, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-03 21:46:51-04

A serial purse snatcher is preying on unsuspecting shoppers in Queens and Staten Island, according to police.  The woman has struck at least eight times, targeting shoppers who leave their valuables unattended.

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

But many shoppers who aren’t as attentive have become the target of this woman, who police identify as 43-year-old Rehana Hussain.  She has struck four times in Queens and four times on Staten Island, stealing wallets, credit cards, and even entire hand bags from shoppers who aren’t paying attention — then running up bills on her victims’ credit cards.

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 7 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 appears 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.