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Police warn women to take care of their purses and bags following lots of thefts in Southampton.
Police in Southampton are warning women to take extra care with their purses and bags while out shopping in the city centre. Between October and the end of November there have been 36 reported cases of purse or bag thefts in the city centre.Usually the thieves distract the owner in some way such as bumping into them.
Whilst the victim isn’t concentrating, or is being distracted, the thief takes the purse or bag. Officers don’t think they are all linked but say this type of crime tends to increase in the run up to Christmas when people are thinking intentlyabout their shopping.
They are advising people to make sure if their purse is in their handbag they keep it with them at all times and the bag firmly shut. Even better is to keep a purse in an inner pocket of a coat or jacket where it’s not so easy to get out.They say keeping bags or purses on or in a trolley or buggy makes life easier for the thieves so where possible try to avoid doing it.
In one unfortunate case back on October 27, between 11.20am and around midday a 79-year-old woman lost £1000 pounds that she had just taken out of a bank to buy Christmas presents for her family.
She took the money out of Lloyds in the High Street. She didn’t realise she was being watched and the thieves waited for her outside the bank. They then followed her and while one distracted her, the other stole a brown envelope containingthe cash from her bag that she was holding.
The thieves are described as:
Thief 1) A black man, around 5ft 11 inches tall, medium build. He was dressed in black leather jacket with grey shirt and checked tie under, grey trousers, black shoes and wearing a grey hat. He was carrying a black holdall in his left hand.He had a moustache but was otherwise clean shaven.
Thief 2) A black woman around 5ft 7 inches tall, medium build. She was wearing a grey hoodie with number 9 under an Adidas symbol on the left breast and a large Adidas emblem on the rear. She was also wearing light blue jeans and white trainers.She had a grey scarf around her neck and was wearing a grey woollen hat. She also had large gold hoop earrings and was carrying a large black holdall in her left hand.
Officers are today releasing CCTV footage of the incident in the hope that someone may be able to identify those responsible.
Anyone who thinks they may know who they are or has any information about anyone committing purse and bag type thefts in the city is asked to call PC Adrian Lugg at Southampton Central Police Station on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymouslyon 0800 555 111.