Police step up extra vigilance on thefts

SHOPPERS in Wetherby are being asked to be vigilant following a number of recent purse thefts.

Thieves have targeted the handbags of shoppers at Morrisons supermarket in Wetherby and have committing ‘dipping’ offences in which they have stolen a purse or money from the victim’s handbag while they have been distracted.

Three incidents of the “dipping” thefts have occurred at the supermarket since Saturday, June 30, police have confirmed.

All the incidents targeted elderly women at the store.

Sgt Stuart Mason, of Wetherby Police, said: “We would ask that people, especially elderly females, be extra vigilant and make sure they are aware of what is going on around them and being cautious at all times.

“These thieves are using a variety of distraction techniques, so it is about building awareness, making sure purses and bags are securely fastened.”

Sgt Mason added that he would encourage women to buy lanyards, a device which attaches a metal keychain from a purse onto a handbag, to deter the thieves who use distraction techniques.

Anyone who witnessed a purse theft is asked to contact Wetherby Police on the non-emergency police number 101.