Thieves targeting elderly and vulnerable shoppers in SheffieldÂ city centre
A warning has been issued about thieves targeting elderly and vulnerableÂ shoppers in Sheffield city centre.
A number of purses and wallets have been stolen from elderly and vulnerable shoppers over recent weeks.
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One arrest was made last week after a woman reported that her purse had been stolen.
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The police warning has been issued this week in the run up to Christmas, which is traditionally the busiest time of theÂ year in theÂ city centre.
In a statement, South Yorkshire Police said: 'Officers in Sheffield are asking the community to ensure that elderly and vulnerable people are made aware of a recent series of purse thefts, or '˜purse dipping', offences in the city centre.
'Police have received several reports in recent weeks of elderly or vulnerable people being targeted in shops or public places.
'In some reports, the victims are distracted by the suspect, who then '˜dips' into their handbags or bags and takes their purses or wallets.
'As we head towards the festive season and the city centre is expected to get busier with Christmas shoppers, officers are concerned crimes of this type may rise and want everyone to be aware of suspicious activity.'
ToÂ try to reduce the number of thefts,Â theÂ force is urging shoppers to stayÂ alert and to be aware of individuals around them.
Bags shouldÂ be zipped up and pockets should be closed with any clasps facing inwards.
Valuables should be kept out ofÂ sight wherever possible.