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Appeal for pickpocket who befriended elderly couple on train and then stole purse

Police are appealing for information after a pickpocket, who befriended an elderly couple on a train, stole a purse.

Credit: British Transport Police

British Transport Police says the "audacious theft" happened at Aberdare train station.

On the morning of Wednesday, 9th March an elderly couple boarded a train at Cardiff Queen Street, bound for Aberdare.

During the hour long journey, an unidentified man approached the victim and her partner and attempted to talk with them, seemingly to build their trust, say police.

Credit: British Transport Police

After they left the service at Aberdare, the couple then made their way down a steep bank towards a waiting pre-booked taxi.

During this short walk, the suspect approached the couple, bothering them.

Despite multiple prompts by the couple to leave them alone, he continued to repeatedly pat their shoulders and reassure them.

It is at this point the victim’s purse was snatched from her bag.

– British Transport Police

Police have released the above CCTV images of a man they want to speak to.

Aberdare Train Station. Credit: Google Street View

This was a cruel crime, committed by an individual who preyed on an innocent member of the public.

Once the suspect got hold of the credit cards, he attempted to withdraw £200 from a cash point in Aberdare.

However, as the suspect didn’t have the PIN, the card provider quickly spotted fraudulent activity and blocked any transactions.

Despite no money being stolen, it is important we identify the person responsible and bring them to justice.

– Investigating officer PC Mike Watson

Anyone with information is asked to call 0800 40 50 40 or send a text to 61016 quoting reference 160 of 21/04/2016.