Shoppers warned over dipping thefts

Elderly shoppers at the Lowestoft branch of Marks and Spencer were warned last night to be on their guard after a spate of “dipping” thefts.Ten pensioners, one a 90-year-old woman, had valuables snatched from their handbags when the London Road North store was targeted last week.

Elderly shoppers at the Lowestoft branch of Marks and Spencer were warned last night to be on their guard after a spate of “dipping” thefts.

Ten pensioners, one a 90-year-old woman, had valuables snatched from their handbags when the London Road North store was targeted last week.

Three leather purses containing cash and cards were taken between 11.20 and 11.45am on Thursday , from women aged between 63 and 80. A further theft was reported outside the shop.

Two days later, six more thefts happened between 11.30am and 12.15pm, with the oldest victim aged 90.


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Chief inspector Paul Bradford, of Suffolk police, said: “We are asking shoppers to remain alert.

“Try to carry your handbag in a way that makes it impossible for anyone to dip into, for example holding it in front of you or with your arm over the top.

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“When you're standing in a queue or looking at items, be aware of who is standing next to you and if you see someone acting suspiciously, perhaps near an older shopper, please contact police immediately using 999.

“Detectives are investigating the incidents and police officers will be carrying out extra patrols in the town centre in a bid to catch the offenders.”

Amanda Smith, manager of the Lowestoft store, said: “We're doing everything in our power to stop these thefts.”

Police were yesterday trawling CCTV images and said they were looking for a dark-haired woman of Chinese appearance, in her late 20s to early 30s, who was seen close to two of the victims.

Anyone with information should call Lowestoft CID on 01986 835300.

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