Spate of bag thefts

PUBLISHED: 12:45 14 September 2006 | UPDATED: 09:51 31 May 2010

POLICE are hoping to trace a man who is believed to have carried out several thefts in Saffron Walden town centre on Friday. Between 10.20am and 11am, a 60-year-old woman had her handbag taken from her shopping trolley while she was shopping in Waitrose

POLICE are hoping to trace a man who is believed to have carried out several thefts in Saffron Walden town centre on Friday.

Between 10.20am and 11am, a

60-year-old woman had her handbag taken from her shopping trolley while she was shopping in Waitrose supermarket.

It is believed that the thief then approached two women in a stationary car in the Market Square and explained that he had found the handbag before asking if they could hand it in somewhere.

While talking to the vehicles' occupants, the man accessed the back of the car and placed the handbag inside.

After the man had left, one of the women, an 85-year-old, noticed that her purse had been taken from the back seat during the conversation with the man.

She handed in the stolen handbag to the Tourist Information Office and it was later returned to its owner with its contents.

Around 11am the same morning, a handbag was stolen from a lady while she was in Gluttons café on Rose and Crown Walk.

It was later recovered from a different coffee shop in the town centre, missing £150 cash.

The man who spoke to the women in the car has been described as white, between 40 and 50 years old, of a heavy build and with grey or white hair.

Sgt Ashley Seymour said: "When shopping in the town, people need to be careful with their handbags and purses.

"Don't leave your possessions out in shopping trolleys and give thieves an easy time."

Anyone with any information about the thefts should call Saffron Walden police on 01799 513232.

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