Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 11°C

ESTD 1874 Search

The pigs have arrived. See the latest

Pigs Gone Wild

news here.

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.

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.

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 East Anglian Daily Times 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 East Anglian Daily Times 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 East Anglian Daily Times 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

Victim of fatal road incident named

Police have named the man who died in a crash on the A12 at Wangford on Sunday.

Michael Murdon, from Woolpit

Police are appealing for help to find a missing man from Woolpit who may be in Felixstowe.

Tornado spotted in Old Newton. Picture: Emma Cobbold

A mid-Suffolk resident has spoken of the “surreal” moment she spotted a tornado as she drove through the county this evening (Tuesday).

Television personality Cathy McGowan came to Ipswich in February 1967

Opening in 1967, Fanny was the first boutique to open in Ipswich, writes David Kindred,

A man has been charged after this crash on East Mersea Road between a bus and a low-loader lorry which was carrying a steam engine.

A man has been charged with six counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving after a crash involving a bus and a lorry.

Sebastian Beaumont-Hewitt and Tobey Bloomfield.

Beaver Scouts in Ipswich celebrate 30th anniversary in swine style.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24