Gloucester Shoppers:Beware of Opportunist Thieves

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Gloucester Shoppers:Beware of Opportunist Thieves

Posted: 21/02/2007 13:52:00

Gloucester Police are reminding shoppers to be on their guard against pickpockets and handbag thieves following several incidents in Gloucester.

On some occasions, valuables have gone missing from bags while their owners are walking down the street. Handbags have also been taken from supermarket trolleys while the shopper turns away to reach for the shelves and from pub and shop floors while the victim is distracted. Shops where crowding can give criminals an excuse to jostle their victims have also been the scene of such offences.

An elderly Gloucester woman lost £50 when her purse was stolen from her bag while she was in a charity shop in the City Centre on Saturday, February 17. Another resident lost £45 cash and various bank cards when her purse was swiped from her bag as she walked along Westgate Street or Northgate Street on the same day.

Another lady reported that her handbag had been stolen from her shopping trolley while she shopped at a Quedgeley supermarket at the weekend. It happened while she was distracted by a woman talking to her about tomatoes.

On Sunday, February 18, money, cigarettes and a DVD were stolen from a bag left on the floor of a busy Southgate Street café while the owner's back was turned.
That afternoon, a handbag was stolen from a pub in Eastgate Street while its owner turned round to speak to a friend.

Pc Bob Lloyd said: "We work hard to tackle such opportunist criminals but Gloucester residents and visitors should remember to take some simple precautions to help prevent themselves from becoming a victim of such offences.

"Never leave a wallet or purse at the top of an open bag or shopping trolley as it's an invitation to a thief. Keep valuables in a firmly secured bag and carry it in front of you so you can keep an eye on it or, ideally, put them in a secure inside pocket that would be hard for a thief to reach.

"Whether you're shopping or dancing in a club, keep your valuables on you at all times or get a friend to look after them for you. Make sure you remove wallets and mobile phones from jackets left hanging on the back of a chair."

Personal attack alarms are a good investment for shoppers. These come with a lanyard and clip to connect your purse to your bag and they make a loud noise if someone tries to steal the bag or purse.

If you would like one of these inexpensive alarms they are available at most large DIY stores and at Gloucester, Hucclecote, Quedegely and Forest of Dean Police Stations.

Permalink: http://www.thesite.co.uk/viewnewsstory.asp?newsid=1464

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