Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 8°C

Search

Bury St Edmunds: Out-of-towners believed to be behind purse thefts

15:35 24 July 2014

Community Support Officers Jaz Last (left) and Nicola Amey are on Bury Market offering advice about combating  purse thefts after a recent spate of them.

Community Support Officers Jaz Last (left) and Nicola Amey are on Bury Market offering advice about combating purse thefts after a recent spate of them.

Archant

Police believe the offenders behind a spate of purse thefts in Bury St Edmunds town centre are females of Eastern European origin who are travelling to the area from London.

shares

Officers in the town are continuing to warn shoppers to remain vigilant after two further incidents on Wednesday, July 16, putting the number at 16 against women and one against a man since the beginning of June.

Victims range in age from 56 to 92, with the majority over 70.

The issue is a priority for police locally who have launched “Operation Wantage” to tackle the problem.

Speaking at a mobile police station at the market yesterday, Sergeant Davy Hill said the culprits were “criminally organised” and came from out-of-town.

He said generally he believed they came from London, hitting towns along the route, and thought the offenders were female and of Eastern European origin.

He said: “It’s a heinous crime against generally elderly females on a market day – Wednesdays or Saturdays – but we are finding primarily Wednesdays.”

He said there had been a spate of purse thefts a few years ago which the police put their energies into resolving and it ebbed away around Easter 2012.

Since the problem has sprung up again earlier this year, police are working on crime prevention.

The mobile police station will be at the market on Wednesdays until September.

And as well as uniformed officers at the market to combat the thieves, plain clothes officers are also carrying out covert surveillance.

Sgt Hill said: “I think we are making inroads. There’s a way to go. Our ultimate aim is to resolve and remove this problem.

“It went away for a long period of time. Why it’s resurfaced again I cannot say, but what I do know is they target vulnerable people. I would have to say maybe these people don’t have a conscience because that person could be their grandmother or grandfather.”

On July 16, for the first time in the recent spate of thefts, a man was targeted by the thieves.

The 73-year-old had his wallet and small change purse stolen from the open pocket of his jacket, thought to have been between 11.05am and 11.10am at a shop in Cornhill.

That same day, a 67-year-old woman had her purse stolen from an open-top shopping bag between 11.45am and 12.15pm, which is thought to have happened at a shop in Charter Square.

Inspector Jane Hertzog, local policing commander for Bury St Edmunds, said although these two incidents were a setback, the number of thefts was reducing.

Anyone with information should call the Bury Central SNT on 101.

shares

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ipswich Star visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ipswich Star staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ipswich Star account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Yum Yums Cookery School, a nonprofit community organisation which runs cookery classes at primary schools in Ipswich, has received funding worth £500. Children at Whitehouse Primary celebrating the news. Adults L-R Dawn Burrows, Charlotte Burrows, Ron Impey, Emma Youngman.

An after-school cookery class scheme is celebrating after receiving a vital funding boost.

Foxglove Gardens

There is a dip in Foxhall Road, a depression that is in geographical terms the start of the Mill River, writes John Norman, of the Ipswich Society.

Auschwitz Birkenau

The stories of the holocaust have been recounted in history lessons for decades but there is a difference between what we read in books and what we see for ourselves as 15 Suffolk pupils discovered on a visit to Auschwitz .

Should cyclists be allowed to go through red traffic lights when it is safe?

A cyclist rode through a red light and turned left while I was walking the dog this week. It was 6.20am, there was no other traffic so no risk but, officially, the cyclist had broken the law.

Firefighters from Essex and Suffolk tackled the fire at Ashen.

Firefighters from Suffolk and Essex spent much of Saturday night tackling a blaze in a 3,000-tonne stack of straw at Ashen, near Stoke by Clare.

Once upon a time, shopping was my therapy, writes mum-of-three Ellen Widdup.

Blue Crater Lake

If you love Lakes and Mountains holidays then you will adore the Azores. But why? asks Andrea Powell.

The A11 at Elveden.

An air ambulance landed on the A11 at Elveden this afternoon to help a woman who was involved in a car crash.

Braintree celebrate Michael Cheek's goal

Braintree Town were always in control in front of the BT Sport cameras, as they cruised to a 3-0 win over Altrincham to set up a National League play-off semi-final clash with Grimsby Town.

Halifax Town v Braintree Town - Kenny Davis

Braintree Town take on Altrincham, needing just a point to secure a place in the National League play-offs.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24