Shoppers warned about dippers

SHOPPERS were today again urged to keep a close eye on their valuables as the spate of "dip in" thefts in Felixstowe continued.Police suspect a group of eastern Europeans are carrying out the thefts just as they did last autumn.

SHOPPERS were today again urged to keep a close eye on their valuables as the spate of "dip in" thefts in Felixstowe continued.

Police suspect a group of eastern Europeans are carrying out the thefts just as they did last autumn.

Two elderly women had their handbags and purses stolen earlier this month after thieves raided their shopping bags, dipping in to them as the women browsed in stores in Hamilton Road, and now there have been two more incidents.

Police are stepping up patrols in the town centre but are asking people to be vigilant and to report any suspicious behaviour immediately.

They have urged shoppers to keep an eye on their belongings and to try to carry their bag in front of them and keep it closed or hold it in such a way that would prevent someone from dipping into it.

Both the latest incidents happened on Monday between 11am and noon.

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An 86-year-old woman discovered her purse had been taken from her coat pocket sometime between 11.15am and 11.45am.

In the other incident, inside the Solar store, an eagle-eyed customer saw a woman attempting to put her hand into the open handbag of another shopper. The witness approached the victim and the offender realised she had been spotted and left the store. Nothing was stolen.

The female offender is described as being of eastern European appearance, with pale skin, a long face and dark hair pulled back in a bun style. She was wearing a long black coat and had a large scarf around her neck.

She appeared to be with a man, also of eastern European appearance, about 5ft 8ins tall, with darker skin, a tidy moustache and wearing a camel-coloured three-quarter length overcoat and a trilby hat pulled down partially over his face.

Anyone who may have seen then in the area, or who has information about either incident, is asked to call Felixstowe police on 01473 613500.