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Police Warn Of Distraction Purse Thefts in Town Centre

Published on: 18 Mar, 2014
Updated on: 18 Mar, 2014

Shoppers in Guildford are being advised to be cautious after a purse dipping incident in the town centre.

Surrey Police BadgeThe victim, a woman in her 60s, had withdrawn cash from a bank in the town between 2pm and 3pm on Tuesday, March 11, and had then gone to a shop in Swan Lane.

While in there she was approached by two women. One of them distracted her while it is believed the other took her purse from her handbag.

The pair then made off before the victim realised the theft had taken place and alerted the police. The first suspect is described as black, aged between 25 to 35, around 5ft 1ins  and of stocky build. She had short, straight black hair in a bob style and was wearing dark clothing.

The second suspect was also wearing dark clothing and is is described as black, aged between 20 to 25, 5ft 4ins, of medium build with wavy hair.

Guildford Neighbourhood Sergeant Helen Budd said: “I would urge members of the public to be vigilant and to keep their purses and bags on their person at all times when out shopping.

“On this occasion it appears the victim was distracted by one woman while an accomplice took the purse from her handbag and I would advise all shoppers to be aware that thieves will use such techniques to commit this type of crime.

“If anyone recognises the descriptions of the two suspects or witnessed any suspicious behaviour in Guildford town centre yesterday I would ask them to contact us. Equally, if you think you have been a victim of purse dipping then please call Surrey Police on 101.”

Surrey Police recommends the following few simple security measures to prevent becoming a victim of such a crime:

  • Keep bags and purses close by at all times.
  • Keep all clasps and zips closed with the clasp facing inwards.
  • Don’t keep wallets in a back pocket, keep them in an inside or front pocket.
  • If you have to keep your bag in a shopping trolley or basket, take purses or wallets out.

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