Witness appeal following theft and attempted theft incidents in Bridport and Dorchester

Officers are appealing for witnesses to come forward following two theft-related incidents in West Dorset.

The first incident occurred at around 12.30pm today, Wednesday 28 March 2018, in New Look, South Street, Dorchester.

The victim, a woman aged in her 60s, was shopping in the store when a woman bumped into her. A short time later the victim discovered a red make-up bag containing a large amount of cash had been stolen from her handbag.

The offender is described as Asian, aged in her late 20s or early 30s, of slim build and wore dark clothing.

The second incident occurred at around 2pm today in the RSPCA charity shop in West Street, Bridport.

A member of staff became aware that a woman had attempted to take something from a customer’s handbag. The victim’s partner spotted the incident and grabbed the offender. They got into a tussle during which the offender’s coat and blouse slipped off. The offender made off into Victoria Grove. 

The victim left before officers arrived.

The offender is described as being of Chinese appearance, aged around 28 years old and with dark hair. She was wearing a white vest top, dark trousers and possibly glasses with round frames. 

Enquiries are underway into each offence, including CCTV checks.

Police Constable Mark Edgar, of Dorchester police, said: “We are keen to trace the victim of the Bridport incident and I would urge her or her partner to please contact us.

“The description of the offender in each incident is similar and we believe they could be linked. Part of our enquiries will look at what transport she may have used to get between the two offences. I would ask that anyone who witnessed either incident, saw a woman matching the description given in the area or knows who she is to please call Dorset Police.

“I would like to remind people to ensure they keep their bags near them and zipped up to avoid becoming a victim of crime. Further crime prevention advice can be found at dorset.police.uk.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk, or by calling 101, quoting incident number 28:179 for the Dorchester offence and 28:186 for the Bridport incident. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.