Elderly victims targeted in purse snatch crimes – do you know these people?
Police are hunting two suspects alleged to have snatched thousands of pounds from the bags of elderly victims – some of whom were as old as 92.
The force believes the pair are linked to at least seven incidents in Nottinghamshire over the past three months, as well as several similar offences in Derbyshire.
The vulnerable victims have all been targeted shortly after they have visited cash machines, building societies, banks or post offices to withdraw cash.
On one occasion, an elderly woman was followed all the way from
Arnold to Mapperley Top after she had withdrawn £7,000 from the bank. The money was then stolen from her bag.
Another victim was 79-year-old June Cook, from Sandiacre, who had more than £300 taken from her.
She had been shopping in Iceland in Stapleford with her husband Peter, 87, when a handbag tucked inside a larger bag was snatched.
She said: “I’d been to get some money out at the cash point at Lloyds bank on Warren Avenue before going to Iceland.
“We got a trolley and went down the first aisle, where we started looking at the joints of meat.
“I was aware of a couple standing near me and I remember thinking the man was coming up a bit close, but I didn’t really think anything of it. Later I went to get a hankie out of my bag and realised a handbag inside the bag had been taken.”
The bag contained the £250 cash Mrs Cook had withdrawn from the cash point, as well as a further £80 in notes and about £20-worth of coins.
There were also several sentimental photos inside her purse.
“I was really upset when I realised what had happened,” said Mrs Cook.
“It had a big impact on me and the week afterwards I ended up in hospital for three days with pneumonia. The stress can’t have helped.
“I’ve been frightened about going outside and when I have gone out, I’ve been very shaky. They would have seen that we were walking with sticks and obviously couldn’t run after them.”
Mrs Cook is just one of several elderly women targeted in this way in Arnold, Bulwell, Kimberley, Kirkby in Ashfield, Mapperley and Ravenshead. Two of the victims were 92.
The latest incident happened at about 11.15am on Tuesday, (27 January) when hundreds of pounds in cash and a building society book were stolen from a shopping bag while the victim travelled from Heanor to Eastwood by bus.
Neighbourhood Policing Inspector for Broxtowe South, Steve Wragg, said: “These aren’t just simple thefts – they are life-changing crimes.
“They have had a long-term effect on these victims which can’t be repaired instantly.
“There are people out there who know who is doing this. Don’t protect them. Have a bit of compassion and care. This could happen to your mum, your grandma or your great-grandma.”
If you have any information call
Nottinghamshire Police on 101.