Police are issuing a warning to shoppers in Cannock and Rugeley to guard against purse thefts.
There have been several purse thefts reported over the last week from Morrisons, Aldi and Asda stores in Cannock. In each case the offenders, described as being of Eastern European origin, have been captured on CCTV walking around the stores targeting elderly shoppers.
They are looking for people who have their bags on display before distracting them and stealing their purses. (Incident numbers 224, 281 and 317 of 5 February and 501 of 6 February)
In another incident an elderly victim was distracted in Lloyds Bank, Cannock, after taking money out from an ATM machine. He later discovered that the money had been stolen. (Incident number 342 of 3 February)
Offenders also targeted shoppers in Tesco Superstore in Rugeley, stealing a purse from a handbag. (Incident number 281 of 7 February).
Local Police Teams will be offering reassurance within the Town Centres and working with store security to try and disrupt this activity.
Shoppers are reminded of the following advice
- Shoppers are advised to remain alert when shopping and to pay extra attention to their belongings.
- Make sure that your purse is not easily accessible to offenders and be aware of your possessions if you are distracted as this is when your belongings are most vulnerable.
- Bags should be kept close to the body and kept closed unless in use.
- Purse bells are available as extra security and are to be issued by patrols in the area.
Anyone with any information on the recent thefts is asked to contact Staffordshire Police on 101, quoting the relevant incident number.
You can also report crime by contacting the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their Anonymous Online Form at http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not go to court.
If you have been a victim of crime click here for help and information.