It's easy to become distracted while shopping. Especially when a random stranger starts pleasantly chatting with you. However, it is probably safer to be an unsocial hermit with your head down while shopping.

According to Dakota News Now, a Watertown, South Dakota woman is warning people to be on the lookout for people trying to scam you and steal your wallet while shopping in stores.

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Marilyn Byer was shopping at TJ Maxx in Sioux Falls on January 16 when a man came up to her to ask about toddler clothing sizes. While engaged with this guy, someone else stole her wallet out of her purse in her shopping cart. It didn't take long before fraudulent charges started happening.

“As I was up a the checkout, my husband called and said that one of our cards got a charge of a thousand dollars, and where is my wallet.” said Byer.

Sioux Falls Police say that calling them and filing a report as soon as possible is key to finding who is responsible for the theft.

There are plenty of ways to keep your purse safe in a store. You can use the child strap or cheap carabiner to secure the purse making it tougher to grab and run. Also, keep it zipped up. Using a purse with a longer strap that can be worn around the shoulders like a sling is also good.

Another option is to not bring a purse at all. Bringing just a small wallet or even just cards and ID is safer than a bag full of personal information. That isn't always practical either, especially with young kids. So some combination of all of these things that suits you best is the way to go.

20 Years of Gas Prices' Ups and Downs

'Gas prices: giving us something to talk about with our coworkers for 20 years.' I don't remember where I first heard it, but that's the perfect way to describe all the pointless complaining sessions we all have taken part in over the years.

I don't much attention to the price of gas. Admittedly I do not work in a field that directly relies on equipment that takes gallons and gallons of gas. But, as an average car driver, I'm just going to pay whatever it costs. 

It's not that I don't care, I just know I don't have a choice. I'm going to need gas, so I'm going to pay whatever they charge. Kids gotta get to school and I gotta get to work. The only real choice is to drive or not to drive. Walking the ten-mile round trip to work every day is impractical, especially during one of South Dakota's patented six-month winters. 

Besides being low-key annoying, complaining about the price of gas is dumb because I remember things. Like that the price of gas has been up and down for at least 20 years. 2021 is no better or worse than 2003. It takes at least $40 to fill my tank this year just like it did in 2017.

But, why not dig into the photo archives and find some proof of memory. Because news stories about gas prices are the pointless small talk of journalism, there are lots of pictures of gas station signs from the last couple of decades. 

Starting in 2000 we can see that rise and fall of gas prices in the United States. World events, natural disasters, and economic changes all affect the price. And all through those years, I paid what was charged.