Police warning over pickpockets targeting elderly people in Wednesfield
Shoppers in a Wolverhampton village are being warned to be extra vigilant of their belongings after a spate of pickpocketing incidents.
A number of elderly residents have been targeted in Wednesfield High Street in recent weeks, prompting both local police and council members to issue a warning to take extra care whilst out shopping.
It is believed a select few individuals are responsible for the thefts, which have mainly been directed at elderly women out alone.
Councillor Phil Bateman said: “It is with regret that I have to report that yet another elderly member of our community was the victim of pickpocketing in Wednesfield High Street whilst going about her daily business.
“This is just the latest incident in a series of thefts.
“Whilst being distracted, she had her purse taken which contained a substantial amount of money. Fortunately there was no physical harm done to the lady.”
Another elderly woman, who did not wish to be named, said: “I am a pensioner and have to be careful with my money. I have shopped in the High Street regularly since the 1950s and this sort of thing never used to happen.
“And yet twice already this year I have had my purse stolen out of my bag and on both occasions I have lost an entire week’s money. It does make you wary about going out as you never know who is around or what their motive is. It seems some people simply don’t care who they steal off.”
A spokesman for Wednesfield Police said: “I would urge people, as and when they can, to try and accompany people to cash points – especially the older generation who seem to be targeted by these criminals. And if people can, maybe even spend an hour or so out shopping with them.
“In these recent incidents the offenders were described as a male and female of Eastern European origin. The man was tall and slim wearing dark clothing and the female was also quite tall with light purple hair and carrying a cardigan draped over her arm.
“The usual method these criminals employ is to watch potential victims going to cash points, then following them into shops where they wait for the right opportunity to strike – often making out that they are trying to help the victim when in reality they are just setting them up for a distraction theft.”
Councillor Bateman added: “This is an important message. If anyone has seen these individuals out and about in Wednesfield then please telephone the police. Also, I would appeal to anyone who can to ensure that their friends and family have some company when using the cash machines in the High Street.”
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