Thieves snatch handbags from cubicle hooks in bus station toilets

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Police are warning women to be wary of thieves after handbags were snatched in Bedford town centre toilets.

Thefts have taken place in the newly-refurbished bus station toilets, where women have hung their handbags on the hook provided on the back of the cubicle door.

While using the loo, a banging sound came from the next door cubicle, possibly as a distraction technique, and then someone reached over the toilet door, unhooked the bag and ran off with it.

Descriptions are limited, although one lady can say the offender had white trainers on. Both of these latest incidents happened on Saturday February 1, one at 11am and one at 11.30am.

Gary Maxey, of the Crime Bureau, said: “This is quite an unusual method for stealing handbags but it’s not the first time we’ve seen it in the town.

“All methods of theft involve a certain amount of the offender looking out for the opportunity that presents itself – whether it’s someone who’s left their purse on top of everything else in their bag, put a wallet in an easily accessible back pocket, or someone who’s just been spotted drawing cash from a bank.

He added: “As with all town centres, it’s just a case of being vigilant and being aware of who’s around you before you put your bag anywhere, however safe it may seem.”