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'Despicable' robber on a bicycle, who takes bags from elderly people in Norwich, strikes five more times

PUBLISHED: 18:29 15 November 2017 | UPDATED: 12:28 16 November 2017

Picture: Archant.

Picture: Archant.

A "despicable" criminal who has been snatching bags from elderly people in Norwich while riding a bicycle has struck five more times.

The man has been preying on vulnerable people, with one of his victims in her 90s and all the other victims in their 70s and 80s.

And detectives warned people, especially the elderly, to be on their guard in case the robber continues their crime spree.

The latest five crimes follow four similar reports of robberies and thefts, with police linking the crimes.

Officers are appealing for help from the public in finding the robber, who is described as white and aged in his 20s.

The crimes were:

• The most recent robbery was at about 12.50pm today. It happened near the Belvedere Community Centre on Belvoir Street, where a man on a bike robbed a woman in her 70s of her bag.

• A woman in her 70s was robbed of her handbag in Ampthill Street, off Unthank Road yesterday. That crime happened at about 4.40pm.

• A man riding a bike stole a bag from a woman in her 90s in Distillery Square, off Dereham Road. He struck between 9.45am and 10.05am on Monday.

• A 72-year-old woman had her bag stolen by a man on a bike as she waited at a bus stop in Margaret Paston Avenue in Mile Cross. The crime happened shortly before 1.30pm on Saturday.

• A woman in her 80s was robbed of her red shopping bag in Brightys Opening, off Dereham Road. Again, a man on a bike was the description given, with the crime taking place at just before 10am on Friday, November 3.

Detective Constable Emma Gray of Norwich CID said: “These are despicable crimes committed by an individual targeting the most vulnerable.

“I would encourage people, especially elderly residents, to be vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour to police.”

The police have linked the latest crimes to the following previous crimes:

• Monday, October 30 around 8.50am on Beloe Avenue in Bowthorpe, where a woman, aged in her 70s, who was using an electric wheelchair, was robbed of her handbag by a man riding a bike.

• Saturday, November 4 around 2.45pm in Grove Walk, near Ipswich Road, where a woman, aged in her 80s, has been pulled to the ground by an unknown man before her leather handbag was stolen.

• Sunday, November 5 around 10.35am in Angel Road, where a man riding a bike stole a bag from a woman in her 70s.

• Wednesday, November 8 around 10.20am on Adelaide Street, off Dereham Road, where a woman, aged in her 80s, had her handbag stolen from her by a man riding a bike.

Witnesses or anyone with information should contact DC Emma Gray on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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