PC Stonier of Nantwich advising elderly on purse thefts and pickpockets

A pickpocket gang which has snatched four purses in Nantwich in the last few days, is targeting elderly shoppers, police have warned.

All four victims have been elderly people shopping in either charity shops or supermarkets, it has emerged.

Now Nantwich officers are taking to civvy clothes in a bid to catch the gang red-handed.

Police are also giving out ‘purse bells’ for free from the Beam Street station, in a bid to deter the thieves.

Sgt Ian Bennett said: “We’ve had four incidents in four days, so it’s a concern.

“We are getting more officers out in civvy clothes in a bid to track them down.

“These pickpockets tend to come in teams. Historically, we’ve had them coming into Nantwich from different parts of the country before, doing this.

“More worryingly is the fact they are targeting the most vulnerable.

“Thankfully, no one has been hurt in the incidents, the first the victims know about it is when they come to pay for an item and realise their purse has gone.

“This sort of crime tends to come in waves, but this time they appear to be targeting charity shops too, perhaps because many don’t have CCTV and these are shops that the elderly tend to go to.

“The victims are not in any danger – there is no physical contact, these teams are very good at what they do.

“But this is a distressing crime for elderly victims and we’ll do everything we can to catch them.”

purse bells to deter pickpocketsOfficers have been visiting elderly groups and organisations to pass on advice.

And Sgt Bennett hopes residents will collect and use the purse bells (pictured, right) in a bid to deter thieves.

“We have hundreds of these so please come and collect from the police station,” he added.

“They jangle and make a noise when a purse is grabbed. At the end of the day, if it deters and scares a pickpocket away, it’s worked.

“We need to get the message out there that these criminals are in the town, so keep bags and purses secure and out of view.”

If you have any information on purse thefts, contact Cheshire Police on 101.

 

One Comment

  1. Find them and cut their hand off. That should stop them from pickpocketing.

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