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'Watch out for bag thieves' - Sudbury woman, 82, warns others

PUBLISHED: 12:17 20 October 2018 | UPDATED: 12:26 20 October 2018

Sudbury town centre Picture: GREGG BROWN

Sudbury town centre Picture: GREGG BROWN

An 82-year-old woman who passed out in shock when she realised her bag had been stolen is warning others to be vigilant.

Sudbury post office, which is inside WHSmith in Market Hill Picture: GOOGLE MAPSSudbury post office, which is inside WHSmith in Market Hill Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

Ivy Kirkman, from Sudbury, believes she must have been followed from the post office in WHSmith in Sudbury town centre - where she drew out £200 cash from her pension - on the morning of Monday, October 15.

It was there, when she went to pay, that she realised her bag had been removed from her walker and inside it her purse, which contained cash, prescription glasses and photographs of sentimental value of her great-grandchildren and late former husband.

She retraced her steps to WHSmith, but her bag was not there and Mrs Kirkman, who has Parkinson’s disease and is blind in one eye, collapsed in shock.

The great-grandmother, who has reported the alleged theft to police, said: “It’s just people need to be aware they are so quick and they can do it from right under your nose.”

The episode has knocked her confidence, and she added a trip back to Sudbury town centre made her feel quite shaky.

“You feel a bit more anxious about everything you do,” she said.

Danielle Voller, the wife of Mrs Kirkman’s grandson Antony, has been using social media to trace witnesses, as well as warning people to be vigilant if withdrawing cash from the post office.

Mrs Voller, from Sudbury and a mother to a six-month-old boy, said: “She thought she was doing the right thing and she was safe - putting her money away as soon as she got it out at the post office, but obviously someone was watching her.

“She wants to make people more aware of what they were doing so hopefully they don’t get the chance to do it again.”

Mrs Kirkman had placed her bag inside the seat of her walker, where she thought it was safe.

Suffolk police offer advice to help prevent personal theft:

• Carry wallets in an inside pocket, where possible, but never in your back pocket;

• Zip up hand and shoulder bags and carry with the fasteners against your body to prevent a thief from dipping into it;

•Keep straps short and bags tucked under your arm or in front of you;

•Don’t display jewellery;

•Don’t show your money - keep it safely in your pocket;

•Never leave your bags or other valuables unattended;

•Ensure any bags placed on the floor are in front of you so that any movement of the bag will be noticeable.

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