Purse theft gang targets town

SHOPPERS were urged to be on their guard today after more purse thefts from people in Felixstowe – the suspects believed to be a gang of eastern Europeans.

SHOPPERS were urged to be on their guard today after more purse thefts from people in Felixstowe – the suspects believed to be a gang of eastern Europeans.

Police believe the gang is going from town to town in the region, carrying out as many thefts as they can and then immediately moving on.

They tend to return about three weeks later as part of their route.

The thefts from bags have been happening regularly in Felixstowe for the past nine months, and have also taken place in Ipswich.


You may also want to watch:


Usually it is elderly shoppers who are targeted.

Felixstowe police commander Insp Neal Atwell said the message to shoppers to keep an eye on their bags and keep them zipped and closed was getting through, making life more difficult for the "dip in" thieves.

Most Read

"It is sad that people have to think all the time about their bags when they are just out shopping and it does increase the fear of crime," he said.

"People just need to take reasonable precautions. We have more officers on duty in the town centre and shopkeepers are also aware of the problems we have been having so they are also keeping their eyes open."

The latest incident happened on Friday April 22 when an officer on mobile patrol was flagged down by a member of the public who had seen two women sit down beside a woman in the Bakers Oven around 1.30pm and 2pm.

One of the suspects had tried to pull the woman's handbag towards her using her leg. The member of the public alerted the woman and the two suspects left.

Both suspects are described as being of eastern European appearance and aged 17 to 25 years old. One was wearing casual clothes – a T-shirt, jeans, a thick belt and a corduroy dyed cap – and had long dark hair. The other wore a white top with pink stripes and jeans and also had long hair.

Two other incidents of purse theft were also reported to police – in one cash was stolen from a purse removed from a bag, and in the other cards were taken.

Both occurred inside shops in Hamilton Road between 1.30pm and 2.30pm. Police say shoppers seeing any suspicious behaviour should report it immediately using 999. Anyone with information about the incidents should call Felixstowe Police on 01473 613500.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter