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Vigilance plea after theft spree

By Jo Deeks on Thursday, 21st December 2000.

POLICE are warning shoppers in Haverhill to take extra care of their money after a spate of thefts at supermarkets in the town.
After the third incident in a week, police are urging people not to leave handbags or purses on show in shopping trolleys.
Initially, warnings were put out directed at elderly people but, after the latest case involving a woman of 30, police stress that everyone is at risk.
In the latest incident, at the Pioneer supermarket in Jubilee Walk just before 1pm on Wednesday, December 13, a 30-year-old woman had her bag snatched from the front of a pushchair. She had another bag over the top of it and had just left the pushchair unattended for a few seconds before discoveing the bag was gone.
In another incident the day before, at Sainsbury's store, a 62-year-old woman was distracted by a young man who asked her where the bacon was. She later found her trolley had been moved to another aisle and the bag she left under her shopping was gone.
The previous week, an 80-year-old woman had her purse stolen from her shopping trolley at the Pioneer Store after she had been distracted by a woman with a male companion.
Police spokesman Wendy Kerr said they were not linking the thefts, but several similar ones had happened in Newmarket. She urged people to be especially careful at this time of year when unscrupulous, opportunist thieves were around. Handbags and purses should not be left unattended and money should preferably be kept in a pocket or money belt.
"At first we were mainly linking these thefts to vulnerable, elderly people, but it is not just the elderly they can happen to everyone. These people may target shoppers who are distracted, thinking they may be carrying more cash to do their Christmas shopping," Ms Kerr said.
Police are appealing for anyone who may have witnessed these incidents or who has any other information to contact Suffolk Police on (01284) 774100 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Haverhill Weekly News

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