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Members of the public urged to be vigilant following 'purse dipping' incidents

Police are urging members of the public to be vigilant after a number of ‘purse dipping’ incidents in Cheshire East.

During the past few weeks there have been three incidents where people have reported their purses have been stolen from their bags.

At 2.30pm on Tuesday 23 April, a woman reported her purse was stolen from her handbag which was in the seat of a shopping trolley in Marks and Spencer in Coppice Way, Handforth.

At 6pm on Tuesday 14 May, police received reports that a woman’s purse had been stolen from her bag which was in a shopping trolley at Morrisons in Dunwoody Way, Crewe.

At 11.30am on Wednesday 15 May, a woman reported her purse had been stolen while shopping at Sainsbury’s in Alderley Road, Wilmslow.

Chief Inspector Andy Baker said:

“As we see the return of warmer weather, with more people out and about, we have sadly seen a rise in opportunistic thieves on the lookout for an easy way to make criminal gains.

“These criminals can be incredibly good at distracting you and using other methods to steal your belongings, so you may not even realise the crime has taken place.

“This is why we are encouraging everyone to be vigilant and keep an eye out for suspicious activity.

“If you would like some extra reassurance, please pop into your local police station where we will be able to supply you with purse bells to attach to your purse or wallet. These are a really useful tool which will help to alert you to any potential theft.”

There are a few simple precautions people can take to deter opportunistic thieves:

  • Carry your purse in a zipped-up bag, and always keep the bag close to you and where you can see it
  • Attach an audible alarm to your purse/wallet, such as purse bells
  • Never leave your bag in a shopping trolley or basket
  • Avoid withdrawing large amounts of money if not necessary
  • Be aware of people around you, following you, or getting too close to your person and your belongings

Anyone who sees someone acting suspiciously around others or has any information about incidents of this nature is asked to contact Cheshire Police on 101

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