Woman, 93, chases thief who claimed to be charity worker in Newmarket

Suffolk Constabulary is warning shoppers in Newmarket to be vigilant.

Suffolk Constabulary is warning shoppers in Newmarket to be vigilant. - Credit: Archant

A 93-year-old woman has been praised by police after chasing an offender 350 yards down the street after money was stolen from her purse.

The female culprit claimed to be collecting money for charity in Old Station Road, Newmarket near the clock tower around 4pm on August 6.

When the victim got her purse out of her handbag to give her some change, the suspect bumped her hand causing the purse to fall to the ground.

The offender then picked up the purse and stole £60 in cash and a credit card holder before making off down Old Station Road away from town.

The victim chased after her around 350 yards toward Chevely Road before losing her near The Gallops.

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Detective Inspector Andrew Smethurst said: “This lady was very brave in pursuing the offender and although we do not encourage victims to put themselves at risk, we would like to praise this woman for giving chase despite her age.”

The theft has sparked police to issue a warning to shoppers in Newmarket following a similar incident on August 4.

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A woman aged in her 70s was bumped into by another woman in the Guineas Shopping Centre around 3pm, causing her to stagger backwards.

A few minutes later the victim realised her purse had been stolen from her handbag.

Suffolk Constabulary has released the following advice to help prevent purse thefts:

- Wear a shoulder bag across the front of your body

- Always keep your purse out of sight

- Zip up your bag and keep it closed

- Do not leave your bag unattended or on a shopping trolley or pushchair – hold onto it

- If people push or bump into you check your bag immediately

- If approached by people collecting money for charity always ask to see photo identification

Anyone with information about either of these crimes is asked to contact Newmarket CID on 101 quoting reference NE/15/1348, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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