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Warning after purse thieves target shoppers

Police warn shoppers should keep purses out of sight Credit: Arno Burgi/DPA/Press Association Images

Shoppers are being warned to look after their purses and wallets after a rise in thefts.

Since August, police have received 17 reports of purse thefts in Basingstoke town centre. In most cases, they happened in crowded areas, when someone is distracted for a few moments.

Shoppers should guard their PINs at all times Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire/Press Association Images

In some cases, thieves managed to get hold of card PINs and withdraw money before the owners reported the card stolen.

On Saturday, a 75-year-old woman's purse was stolen while shopping with a friend and even though she cancelled her cards quickly, £1000 in cash was withdrawn in the minutes before she reported it.

Officers believe the thefts are connected and are appealing for anyone with information to call Sergeant Trevor Taylor on 101.

Man jailed for trying to smuggle phones into prison

Isaac Donovan was jailed for trying to smuggle mobile phones into a Dorset prison Credit: Dorset Police

A man who tried to smuggle mobile phones into a Dorset prison has been jailed for six months. Isaac Donovan, 28, from Hackney in London pleaded guilty to trying to bring two micro mobile phones into Guys Marsh Prison in Shaftesbury when visiting one of the prisoners.

He had tried to conceal the devices but they were discovered by prison officers during a routine search. Donovan was arrested by police shortly afterwards at the prison and charged with the offence the following day.

“I welcome this sentence as it demonstrates the robust treatment that these kinds of offences will lead to. The rapid outcome of this particular case is due to a sound collaborative approach between Dorset Police and the Prison Service.”

– Detective Constable Siobhan Lovering, Western CID

Woman punched in face by man who stole phone and purse

A woman has been punched in the face by a man who stole her mobile phone and purse in Portsmouth. The 50-year-old victim was walking along an alleyway from Sheffield Road to Guildford Road when a man put his hand into her bag on Saturday. As she tried to fight him off she was attacked and the man fled with her mobile phone and purse.

“I would like to hear from anyone who may have been in or around the alleyways that run between Guildford Road, Sheffield Road and Sandringham Road at around 9.30am on Saturday, October 10. As always, we would encourage people to be aware of their surroundings especially when walking in secluded areas alone.”

– Detective Constable Duncan Green, Hampshire Police

The man is described as:

  • White
  • 30 to 35 years
  • Slim build
  • 5ft 8ins
  • Stubble on his face
  • Rough looking skin
  • Short straight brown/dark brown hair
  • Dark grey sweatshirt
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