Handbag thieves target women de-icing their cars

PUBLISHED: 12:46 15 December 2008 | UPDATED: 13:48 06 May 2010

A GANG of handbag thieves in Harpenden have been targeting women as they de-ice their cars in the recent frosty weather or are just about to drive off. In all cases the middle-aged victims were sitting in their cars when the men opened the passenger door

A GANG of handbag thieves in Harpenden have been targeting women as they de-ice their cars in the recent frosty weather or are just about to drive off.

In all cases the middle-aged victims were sitting in their cars when the men opened the passenger door and took the handbags from the seats.

Police Sergeant Lewis Ducket said: "Obviously this has been very distressing for these victims. We are doing everything we can to try to trace the men responsible who are probably working together.

"Not only is this crime very upsetting but also incredibly inconvenient as passports, house keys, credit cards and cash have been taken."

The first victim was de-icing the windscreen of her blue Vauxhall Corsa car on December 2 at 5.25pm in Rothamsted Avenue when a slightly-built black man aged between 20 and 30 wearing a dark cap and bulky jacket grabbed her bag and made off in a waiting vehicle.

The next day a man fitting a similar description took a woman's handbag from her blue Ford C-Max around 7pm in Moreton Avenue.

Two days later a woman sitting in her red Mazda car parked in Rosebery Avenue was just about to drive off when a white man aged between 30 and 35 reached in and snatched the bag. He was wearing blue jeans and a dark hoody.

Sgt Ducket said: "Although we have a possible suspect, we have not arrested anyone so in the meantime I would encourage women to make sure their handbags are placed in the footwell or on their shoulder, especially while de-icing the external windscreen of the car."

Anyone with any information that may help police should contact 0845 3300 222 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.


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