Thieves target shoppers

SNEAKY "dip in" thieves are targeting elderly people at Felixstowe – stealing their purses from their shopping bags.Five incidents have taken place in the town in the past two days and police are urging people to be on their guard and keep a look-out for people acting suspiciously near them in busy shops.

SNEAKY "dip in" thieves are targeting elderly people at Felixstowe - stealing their purses from their shopping bags.

Five incidents have taken place in the town in the past two days and police are urging people to be on their guard and keep a look-out for people acting suspiciously near them in busy shops.

Four of the thefts happened on Thursday.

The first is thought to have taken place in Solar in Hamilton Road at about 10am when a 93-year-old woman lost her brown leather purse containing cash from her bag, which had been on her shopping trolley.

Then across the road in the Co-op department store about half an hour later an 84-year-old woman fell victim to the same sort of theft.

After purchasing an item and putting her purse back into her bag, she went to look at some blouses. She felt someone behind her, stepped back and stood on the foot of a woman about 5ft 4in tall.

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She thought nothing of it, but when she went to pay for the blouse found her bag unzipped and her red leather wallet style purse, containing cash and cards, missing.

Police say two women were seen acting suspiciously in the store around this time. One is described as having dark hair, aged 30 to 40, of Eastern European appearance and wearing a red flowery top.

The third theft occurred in the market area at Great Eastern Square, outside Solar, about 11am, when a black snap fastening purse was taken from the bag of a 67-year-old woman.

Then at 12.30pm the thieves struck again, taking a black leather purse from the shoulder bag of a 75-year-old woman shopping in the Red Cross charity shop.

Two women of Eastern European appearance were seen in the shop around this time - police would like to trace them.

The fifth incident happened yesterday at 10.30am in Hamilton Road. A 90-year-old woman was shopping with another woman. They visited the Co-op and Rosebys.

When the 90-year-old went to pay for an item in Rosebys she found her bag was undone and her navy blue wallet-style purse, with cash and cards, was gone.

Felixstowe police commander Insp Neal Atwell urged shoppers to keep a close eye on their valuables and to report any suspicious behaviour immediately.

Anyone who has information about the thefts - or recognises the descriptions of the Eastern European women - should contact Felixstowe police on 01473 613500.

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