Police have issued a warning to elderly residents to be vigilant following a spate of purse thefts in Crewe town centre.
Officers have seen a sharp rise in the number of incident over the past few weeks − five were reported on Saturday, January 24th, a further three were reported on Monday, January 26th and another incident occurred on Tuesday, January 27th.
In that incident, the offenders followed the elderly victim from Crewe town centre to their home address, asked them for directions by placing a large map over their handbag, and taken the credit card from the bag unseen, later removing £300 from their account.
Most of the incidents are taking place in a number of shops across the town centre.
Many of the victims share similar tales − that the offenders barged into them, apologised and walked away, only to find later that their purse has gone and money taken from their bank accounts.
The offenders are described as a male and female, both aged in their early 20s, white and with foreign accents.
On a couple of occasions, the female has been described as having her hair in a ponytail.
A police spokesman said:
“Purse dipping appears to be a growing trend in Crewe town centre and something we are very much alive to. We would ask everyone to be vigilant, including shoppers who may see someone acting suspiciously around others.
“The offenders seem to be targeting the elderly in particular, and we would remind this group to take some basic preventative measures, such as keeping your bag zipped and close at all times, and not keeping large quantities of money in your purse. Purse bells are also a useful tool to guard against this type of crime.”
Anyone who witnesses anything suspicious or believe they have been a victim are urged to contact Crewe police on 101.