Police warning following pickpocketing offences in St Albans

POLICE are advising Christmas shoppers to be on their guard against pickpockets, following a number of recent incidents in St Albans City Centre.

There can traditionally be a rise in this type of crime in the run up to Christmas, as more people take to the streets to buy presents. Thieves can also strike whilst people are out and about celebrating the festive season.

A number of offences have taken place in the city centre since the start of the month.

At around 3pm on December 1, a purse was taken from a handbag left on the floor in BHS, St Peter’s Street.

On the same day, between 7.50pm and 9.30pm a purse was taken from a handbag left on a sofa in Waterstones on St Peter’s Street.

On December 2, between 7.30pm and midnight a purse and a mobile phone were taken from a handbag in the Slug and Lettuce, on Victoria Street.

A mobile phone was removed from the back pocket of a woman’s jeans whilst she was in Club Veeda, between midnight and 4am, on December 3.

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On the same night, between 1.30am and 2.40am, a mobile phone was removed from a handbag.

St Albans Neighbourhood Inspector Ruth Dodsworth said: “Pickpocketing is a horrible offence to be a victim of whatever time of year.

“But at Christmas, when many are enjoying finding presents for friends and family, busy in the hustle and bustle, or out celebrating, it can be a real inconvenience and take away the enjoyment at this time of year.”

The Safer Neighbourhood Team will be working with shoppers to crack down on pick pocketing with high visibility patrols.

People are also being reminded to keep their valuables safe whilst out and about.

Anyone with information on pickpocketing offences should contact PC Clare Lapenna via the non-emergency number 101.