Elderly woman's purse stolen in distraction theft in Berkhamsted


Police are appealing for information and witnesses following the theft of a purse in Berkhamsted.

At around 2.30pm yesterday (Wednesday), the victim - a woman aged in her 70s - was approached by a woman in Waitrose who asked her about the different types of coffee on sale. During the conversation a man walked past.

The victim them saw the woman and man leave together. A short time later she realised that her purse was missing from her handbag.

The male offender is described as wearing a leather jacket, while the female offender was carrying a bag.

Inspector Jeff Scott, from the Dacorum Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “Unfortunately there are some unscrupulous individuals who will appear friendly or confused to try and deliberately distract you. They will get your attention by asking you questions or for directions while someone else attempts to steal from you.

“If you find yourself in a position where you believe you are being targeted by these criminals remain friendly but ensure that your valuables, such as your handbag, are secure.

“Try to remember anything distinctive about the offenders, such as their ethnicity, age and what they’re wearing, seek help and alert police straight away by dialling 999.”

Anyone who believes they saw the offenders in Waitrose or has any information that could assist our enquiries is asked to contact Hertfordshire Constabulary via the non-emergency number 101, quoting crime reference 41/9801/19 or report information online at https://www.herts.police.uk/Report.

Alternatively, you can stay 100% anonymous by contacting the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via their untraceable online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org. In over 30 years, Crimestoppers charity has always kept its promise of anonymity to everyone who contacts them.