Appeal for information following purse thefts in Christchurch

Officers investigating a series of purse thefts in Christchurch are appealing for witnesses or anyone with information to come forward.

Members of the public are also being advised to be vigilant with their personal belongings and avoid leaving bags or handbags insecure.

At some time between 11.30am and 12.15pm on Thursday 18 October 2018 a woman aged in her 80s was in the Post Office in Saxon Square when her purse containing £400 in cash was taken from her bag.

Her bank card was also subsequently used to withdraw £200.

At around 11am the same day it was reported that a woman aged in her 70s had a purse containing £200 in cash and cards stolen from her handbag at Waitrose in Bargates.

A further incident occurred the following day, Friday 19 October 2018, between 3pm and 4pm at Sainsbury’s in Lyndhurst Road, with a purse containing £20 in cash and cards taken from the jacket pocket of a woman aged in her 80s.

Police Community Support Investigator Kate Hann, of Dorset Police, said: “We are investigating these incidents and I would urge anyone with information to contact us.

“Given we have had a number of similar incidents reported, I would also urge residents in the area to remain vigilant and make sure they do not leave themselves vulnerable to would-be purse thieves.”

Dorset Police advises people never to leave their bags or handbags unzipped or unattended and to avoid carrying large amounts of cash or valuables. Residents are also advised to never carry their PIN on them, especially in a purse or wallet.

For more crime prevention advice visit www.dorset.police.uk/help-advice-crime-prevention/

Any witnesses or anyone with information about the purse thefts is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55180169042. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.