KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The East Tennessee Valley Crime Stoppers group is providing tips for people to keep their wallets and purses safe after a handful of thefts in the area.

Stacey Payne of the East Tennessee Valley Crime Stoppers provided the advice listed below:

  • Always keep your wallet/purse in your hand or on your person. It only takes a moment to become distracted.
  • While at work do your best to place your purse in a locked cabinet, drawer or locker. Make it hard for someone to get to it. 
  • Never leave your purse in the shopping cart. Even if you never let go of the cart you will at some point turn away. It only takes a moment for someone to grab your belongings and take off.
  • Always fully close your purse. Again, make it hard for someone to lift your wallet from inside your purse.
  • Only carry what you must in your wallet or purse. Limit the number of credit cards and cash so if your wallet or purse does get stolen you will have limited your loss.

East TN Valley Crime Stoppers reminds the community that while crime doesn’t pay, Crime Stoppers does: Tipsters can stay anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward if their tip leads to an arrest.

There are multiple ways you can provide anonymous information to Crime Stoppers. You can call 865-215-7165 or **TIPS, and go online at, via the free mobile app, P3 Tips, or on the East Tennessee Valley Crime Stoppers Facebook page. Tipsters can remain anonymous and are eligible to receive a cash reward.