Police issue warning over thefts of purses

Police in Sheffield are reminding shoppers to be vigilant in the run up to Christmas after a number of purse thefts in the city centre.

The advice comes after officers received three reports of thefts from handbags in the Moor area of the city centre on Tuesday.

A 91-year-old woman had her purse stolen from her handbag between 1pm and 4pm as she shopped on The Moor. Between 3.30pm and 3.45pm, a 43-year-old man had a wallet containing cash stolen from a satchel and a 34-year-old woman had her purse taken between 3pm and 3.20pm.

Officers are patrolling the city centre urging shoppers to be vigilant.

Inspector Neil Mutch, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “In previous years, we have seen an increase in this type of crime in the run up to Christmas and we don’t want to see that increase again this year.

“During this busy period people often carry more money and are less vigilant – this is ideal for opportunist thieves to commit their crimes.

“Don’t give them that opportunity – by taking a few simple steps you can greatly reduce the risk of becoming a victim of this type of crime.

“Carry your bag close to you, keep it zipped up and make sure your wallet or purse can’t be seen.

“Don’t carry large amounts of cash.

“In public places, such as a bars and restaurants don’t hang your bag on the back of your seat where you can’t see it.

“Don’t leave your phone on tables in pubs and restaurants and try not to use it in a crowded place.”

n Anyone with information about purse thieves is asked to call South Yorkshire Police on 101, or, alternatively, Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.