Warning to Christmas shoppers after Horsham town centre handbag thefts

West Street, Horsham. Photo by Steve Cobb S14460414x SUS-140411-110058001
West Street, Horsham. Photo by Steve Cobb S14460414x SUS-140411-110058001

Christmas shoppers have been warned to protect their handbags and purses after four were stolen in Horsham town centre last week.

Horsham neighbourhood policing team have advised shoppers to take extra care over the festive period due to the spate of thefts.

Two bags were taken from a staff area at the rear of a café, a handbag was stolen from an elderly woman’s shopping trolley and a purse was taken from inside the handbag of another shopper in West Street.

The local policing team said purse and bag thefts are not usually a significant problem in the area, and attributed the thefts to the town centre being more crowded and busy.

To reduce the risk of becoming a victim of theft, you can:

• Keep your bag closed and close to you at all times, held securely under your arm or strapped across your body if possible

• Never leave bags unattended - e.g. on a trolley, pushchair or wheelchair

• Beware of anyone acting suspiciously, such as getting too close to you, or trying to distract you by bumping into you - such behaviour should be reported to police, security or shop staff immediately

• Avoid carrying large amounts of cash around with you and don’t let anyone see what’s in your purse or wallet as you are paying

• Never keep your PIN number with your bank cards

• Be aware of people around you when you are at a cash point or chip and pin device and always shield your PIN when you are entering it.

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