Thieves target Harrogate Waitrose shoppers

A91XK7 Police line tape
A91XK7 Police line tape

Thieves targeting shoppers at Waitrose in Harrogate have struck three times in recent weeks, police have warned.

In each incident, handbags or purses have been stolen by thieves as victims shopped or unloaded their trolleys.

Now, police are urging shoppers to be vigilant as they warn the suspects could start targeting other stores.

“I’m urging shoppers to be vigilant and keep their belongings secure and in their possession at all times,” said Sgt Kirk Fletcher of the Harrogate Safer Neighbourhood Team.

“Please don’t put valuables in your shopping trolley, just a split second as you reach for something on the shelf, will give a thief the opportunity they need to steal your belongings. Please also be on your guard if any strangers try to strike up a conversation with you.”

The thefts happened between June 12 and 21 at Waitrose on Station Parade.

In one incident, a woman struck up a conversation with the victim, distracting her while a male accomplice stole the woman’s purse from her handbag, which was inside her car.

In another incident, a victim’s handbag was stolen from her shopping trolley as she unloaded shopping into her car.

In the third theft, the victim’s purse was taken from her handbag which was placed in her trolley as she shopped inside the store.

The woman suspect in the first theft is described as white, aged 50 to 60 with blonde hair in a ponytail, she spoke with a foreign accent.

There is no description for the male suspect.

Anyone with information is asked to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 2 and ask for Sergeant Kirk Fletcherm, quoting reference number 12140101375.

If you wish to remain anonymous, Crimestoppers can be contacted on 0800 555111.