MARCH: Police release CCTV image of man wanted for questioning for suspected handbag theft

PUBLISHED: 15:39 13 February 2009 | UPDATED: 08:53 02 June 2010

CCTV image of man police would like to question

CCTV image of man police would like to question

THIS is the man police want to question following the theft of a handbag- and £150- from a pensioner in March. The CCTV image has been released by Cambs Police and was taken shortly after 3.15pm by cameras inside Somerfield in March where the theft took p

THIS is the man police want to question following the theft of a handbag- and £150- from a pensioner in March.

The CCTV image has been released by Cambs Police and was taken shortly after 3.15pm by cameras inside Somerfield in March where the theft took place.

The elderly lady, and a friend, had been shopping but when it came to leave the store they realised the handbag had been stolen.

The distressed woman said: "I had hung the handbag on my trolley for only a short time. I felt confident I had it in view all the time but I must have looked round and it was then the thief struck."

Staff immediately assured her the entire store had working CCTV cameras and a short while later were able to identify the suspected offender. Police were called and they have now authorised the release of this image of a man they hope to question about the theft.

A police spokesman said it was the latest in a number of thefts from the March and Huntingdon areas.

"In March, the victims tend to be over the age of 60 and female. Typically, handbags have been taken while the owners are shopping in supermarkets and are often left on trolley," said the spokesman.

PC Andrew Harcup-Rudd, who is investigating several March thefts, said: "These are cowardly thefts from elderly women and I would urge all ladies shopping to be extra vigilant.

"People should never leave their handbags hooked onto trolleys in any way; they should always keep them looped around their shoulder and securely fastened at all times. It should never be left out of sight, even for a second - these types of theft take only a second to commit - be vigilant.

"Staff from the neighbourhood policing team at March have been out in the community giving crime prevention advice and handing out handbag alarms."

General security advice:

Never leave handbags hanging unattended on trolleys or pushchairs.

Always keep your handbag with you, as just a few minutes spent looking at items on a shelf can be enough time for an opportunist thief to grab your personal possessions.

Think when walking down the street or looking at items on a shelf - could someone unzip or open your bag without you realising, particularly when it is over your shoulder or on your back?

Always keep handbags and bags zipped up and never place purses and other 'valuables' at the top of your bag.

Consider the use of handbag/bag personal attack alarms - these are inexpensive and alert you to the fact that someone is trying to steal your purse or personal possessions

Where possible, place your bag straps over your head and diagonally across your chest so that it is harder for someone to snatch it - however, never place yourself at risk of attack.

Consider spreading out the items in your bag by using different pockets and sections so that personal possessions are separated

Be vigilant! If you see someone that you think is acting suspiciously, please inform shop staff, security staff and telephone police.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Cambridgeshire Constabulary on 0845 456 456 4 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.


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