Gang of purse thieves target shoppers

POLICE suspect a gang is travelling down on trains for London to dip purses in run-up to Christmas.

It comes after a surge in thefts in Southend High Street where shoppers have been targeted as they buy presents.

In total there have been four purse thefts or attempted thefts in the last week.

PC Martin Knights, town beat officer, said: “It’s a distinct possibility that they might be coming down from London on the train.

“I’m liasiing with a town beat officer in Basildon who’s also incurring problems to establish movements up and down the train lines.”

The number of thefts has been unusual for Southend, as the town centre had only seen 11 purse dippings up until November.

There has been a steady decline in the offence, with 34 committed in the whole of 2011.

One of the most targeted shops has been Card Factory where the narrow aisles make it easy for thieves to jostle into you.

PC Knights said: “I’d warn people to be careful with their purses and handbags. At this time of year it’s easy to be distracted and for people to be careless with their property.

“With the shopping environments people go into they are likely to knock into other people, because that gives the purse thieves the opportunity to bump into people and use that cover to steal purses.”

There was also an incident where a woman suspected she was being targeted by a pursedipper in Superdrug, and chased the woman out of the store.

Police want to speak to man and woman, believed to be eastern european, about the incident on Thursday afternoon [December 13] .

The woman had long black hair and wore a three-quarter length shiny black coat and dark coloured knee-high boots.

The man was about six feet tall with a distinctive thick-set moustache. He wore a leather jacket and jeans.

Anyone with information should call Southend police on 101.

Comments (3)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

4:51pm Thu 20 Dec 12

jolllyboy says...

And there was a pair of smartly dressed men trying to snatch a bag from someone getting out of a car the other week. be aware.
And there was a pair of smartly dressed men trying to snatch a bag from someone getting out of a car the other week. be aware. jolllyboy
  • Score: 0

5:36pm Thu 20 Dec 12

notinwestcliffanymore says...

Rich^Carol wrote:
Keep bringing them in to the uk and house them and lets keep the Southend crime figures UP.. What a disgusting vile crime. Catch em jail em and sling em out. We got enuff of English criminals to deal with.
here is job opportunity for you from the side of this website.............
....................
.....Border Force Assistant Officer Southend
[quote][p][bold]Rich^Carol[/bold] wrote: Keep bringing them in to the uk and house them and lets keep the Southend crime figures UP.. What a disgusting vile crime. Catch em jail em and sling em out. We got enuff of English criminals to deal with.[/p][/quote]here is job opportunity for you from the side of this website............. .................... .....Border Force Assistant Officer Southend notinwestcliffanymore
  • Score: 0

9:03pm Thu 20 Dec 12

asbo industries inc says...

go to card factory and get robbed. anyone looking for another reason not to shop there...
go to card factory and get robbed. anyone looking for another reason not to shop there... asbo industries inc
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree