Heartless thieves have been targeting elderly shoppers out and about in the town centre during a busy market day today.
During a spate of thefts from women this morning one vulnerable lady celebrating her 86th birthday was robbed of £250.
The shocked woman, who has to use a ‘zimmer’ frame to get around, was robbed as she walked from the Lloyds bank Cash machine on Leigh Road to Bath Travel in High Street.
Another elderly lady almost had her purse snatched while shopping in Age UK in Leigh Rd.
In another Charity shop, ‘Debra’ on Market Street, a purse was taken from a 55 year-old though it contained no cash
However a purse including cash was also stolen from 84 year-old shopper just after she had withdrawn money from the Nat West ATM on Leigh Road.
Police believe the thefts are linked and are looking for two blonde women in their 20’s who were seen leaving Age Uk after they were challenged by staff at around 11.30 am.
Pc Rob Thomas from Eastleigh police Safer Neighbourhoods Team is investigating the thefts and he is urging people who care for an elderly relative or a neighbour to help prevent them from becoming victims.
“I’d appeal to anyone with an elderly relative to discuss with them practical advice for when out shopping, such as putting their purse at the bottom of their handbag; only withdraw smallest amount of cash needed; don’t keep card numbers (PIN’s) written down in purses with cards; don’t be distracted by strangers whilst shopping or queuing and please ask us for a purse lanyard – it attaches your purse to a bag or clothing, available free from local police or charity stores in the town.
Please call 101, stop us on patrol or pop into the station. I’d ask shoppers and staff to be vigilant and call us straight away if they see anyone acting suspiciously”
Sgt Chris Spellerberg has told Eastleigh News that he doubled the patrols in the town as soon as he got news of the thefts but the thieves had “done thier stealing and got out”
“Any information from members of public would be really useful.”
Police say they are studying CCTV footage to see if they can identify the culprits.