Witness appeal following distraction thefts in Bedford

Police are urging shoppers to be on their guard
Police are urging shoppers to be on their guard

Two elderly women had their purses stolen in Bedford last week, prompting Bedfordshire Police to appeal for witnesses and advise shoppers to be vigilant.

On Wednesday November 29, at approximately 2pm, a woman was in a shop in Harpur Street when her purse was stolen. The offender is described as white, with dark blonde hair in a ponytail.

A short while later at around 2.15pm another woman was in a shop in High Street when her purse was stolen from her bag. The offender is described as white, slim and in her early 20s. At the time of the offence she was seen wearing dark clothing.

Bedfordshire Police is issuing advice to shoppers as town centres get more crowded during the Christmas period, creating opportunities for pickpockets:

- Keep your purses secure and carry wallets in an inside pocket

- Zip up your bags

- Carry the bags in front of you with the flats against your body

- Keep straps short and tuck your bags under your arm

- Consider getting a bell for your purse.

Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to call the police on 101 quoting reference number JH/52201/2017 (Harpur Street incident) or JH/52203/2017 (High Street incident). Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.