Wiltshire police renew warning to festive shoppers after spate of purse thefts

This Is Wiltshire: Warminster community beat manager PC Sam Withey advising shoppers Rose Bell, left, and Mabel Donald to take care of their purses following a recent spate of purse thefts in Warminster and Westbury Warminster community beat manager PC Sam Withey advising shoppers Rose Bell, left, and Mabel Donald to take care of their purses following a recent spate of purse thefts in Warminster and Westbury

Shoppers are being warned by police to take extra care with their belongings in the pre-Christmas rush, after a spate of purse and wallet thefts in Westbury and Warminster.

Thefts have occurred while shoppers have been distracted on several occasions in the last month, including two incidents last Saturday.

In one, at Morrisons in Westbury, the purse of a 91-year-old woman was stolen from her handbag in the trolley she was pushing at 1pm.

Police were called to an incident at a similar time at the Morrisons in Warminster, where a 60-year-old had her purse stolen from her bag, also left in a trolley.

Inspector Alan Webb said: “I would ask everyone to be especially vigilante. Comm-unity Beat manager Sam Withy is leading Warminster Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) response, with additional patrols and provision of purse chains.”

Sam Withy said: “We will be sending PCSOs to the supermarkets at various times over the next month and they will be handing out purse chains and providing a visible presence.

“The main thing for shoppers is to be aware that thieves see Christmas as an ideal opportunity to strike and know people are often distracted and may easily fall victim to opportunistic thefts.

“Keep wallets and purses in a secure location, preferably in a zipped pocket, and don’t leave belongings on top of shopping or unattended.”

PCSO Jason Greenland will be at Warminster Market today if anyone wants to to speak to him or get a chain.

Comments (2)

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7:57am Sat 7 Dec 13

frankie007 says...

It's not often you hear of the Police advising people to become vigilantes.
It's not often you hear of the Police advising people to become vigilantes. frankie007

2:58pm Sun 8 Dec 13

beetawix says...

it is about time these thieves were caught by police.
A few volunteers with unattended dummy purses rigged with alarms may catch a few of them.
cctv of the crime plus cctv of departure of criminal does not seem to resolve it.
it is about time these thieves were caught by police. A few volunteers with unattended dummy purses rigged with alarms may catch a few of them. cctv of the crime plus cctv of departure of criminal does not seem to resolve it. beetawix

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