A PENSIONER has issued a warning to shoppers in Sheffield city centre after she had a gold necklace stolen from around her neck by an Eastern European woman carrying a baby.
Anna Ford, aged 63, was shopping in King Street, Sheffield on her birthday, when she claims the woman, who was carrying the infant on her hip, pestered her to buy some jewellery.
Miss Ford, of Rainbow Crescent, Hackenthorpe, said she tried to shake the woman off but she continued to pursue her.
When she eventually agreed to try on a necklace, she claims the woman, who was dressed in a ‘gypsy-style’ long skirt and top, stole her gold chain. She said: “I want to warn people about this woman as I don’t want the same thing to happen to anyone else. I would urge people to be on their guard.
“She came up to me and asked if I wanted to buy some jewellery because her baby was hungry and she didn’t have any money.
“I couldn’t get rid of her.
“She asked if I would just try a necklace on and she was fastening it around the back of my neck - it was then she must have taken my chain.
“I didn’t realise until a few minutes later what had happened.
“I’m really upset because it is of real sentimental value.
“It was a gold chain, worth £180 with a very unusual rag doll charm on it, which cost me about £100.
“I’ve been crying all night about it and I just want to warn other people about this woman.
“If anyone has my necklace, I’m begging them to return it to me.”
Miss Ford said the woman was about 23, with long dark hair.
A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman confirmed they were investgating and appealed for witnesses to the theft or anyone else who has been targeted to get in touch.
She said: “The incident occurred at around 3.45pm, when a woman believed to be of an Asian or Eastern European appearance selling jewellery approached another woman on King Street and offered to sell her a necklace.
“Whilst she was placing the necklace around the woman’s neck, it is believed she has removed the complainant’s own gold chain, before making off with it.”
The suspect was of slim build and wearing a long flowing skirt, a loose top and carrying a woven, hippy-style shoulder bag.
“She was also carrying a little boy with her aged around 13-months old,” the spokeswoman said.
Anyone with any information is asked to call South Yorkshire Police on 0114 2202020 quoting incident number 660 of May 4 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.