12:49 Thursday 05 December 2013

Police make pickpocket warning to shoppers

Written byMARK MCKAY

STICKY-FINGERED thieves have been issued with a timely reminder that police will have a close eye on them over the Christmas period.

Staffordshire Police has warned the public to keep their handbags, purses, wallet and money safe in the hustle and bustle of busy shopping centres and high streets.

The force warned that pickpockets can work in groups and use distraction methods to quickly steal purses and wallets. One can ‘bump’ into someone while another quickly takes a wallet or purse, a spokesman said.

Ladies are encouraged to wear their handbags across the body with the zipper or clasp near the body and never to leave it unattended on a trolley, pushchair or wheelchair.

A spokesman for the force said: “At this time of year there is usually an increase in pickpockets in busy town centres.

“We take this type of crime seriously and we will have plain-clothed officers targeting these thieves as well as uniformed officers to offer reassurance to shoppers.

“Anyone caught pickpocketing will be arrested and face prosecution.”

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