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Friday 13 April 2018, 3:10 PM
Incident Number: 183 of 12 April and 302 of 9 April

Police in Gloucester are stepping up patrols after a number of women had their handbags snatched in the street.

The latest incident happened yesterday morning, Thursday 12 April, and it is being linked to two other incidents over the Easter weekend in Alma Place on Saturday, 31 March and Seymour Road on Monday 2 April.

At about 11.15am an 85-year-old woman was in Leonard Road when her bag was snatched by someone described as male and wearing a grey hoodie underneath a black coat. He then got on a bike and rode off.

(CCTV image attached).

The woman was not injured but was very shocked by the incident, following which cash was withdrawn from her bank account.

Inspector Jason Keates said: "These incidents are very worrying because the victims, although not physically hurt, have been subjected to fear and distress as well as having their possessions stolen. 

"I would urge anyone with information about the offender, or offenders, to come forward so that we can stop this happening to other, vulnerable people.

"Our officers will be increasing patrols in the areas we think are likely targets and examining the CCTV images of the suspects.

"In addition I would advise anyone who is out on the street to be vigilant and take steps to protect themselves, no matter how old or young you are.

"Be aware of who is around you so there is less chance of being taken by surprise, and keep any valuables hidden as much as possible.

"If you wear your bag across your body it is more difficult to grab, and in winter you could even keep it under your coat. If you are in a wheelchair or motorised scooter keep your bag in front of you, not hanging over the handles."

"And if someone does grab your bag don't try to fight them, you may get hurt."

Anyone who witnessed yesterday's incident, or has any information about any of them, is asked to call Gloucestershire Constabulary on 101 quoting incident 183 of 12 April.

A fourth incident, reported on Monday 9 April, is also being investigated but at this time it is not clear whether it is linked.

At about 2.30pm a disabled man in a wheelchair, who had been taking photographs of the cathedral, had his camera bag stolen by two males who both went off on bikes.

One was wearing a grey hoodie and the other a black and white hoodie.

This happened in the St Mary's Street/Three Cocks Lane area as the man was heading towards Upper Quay Street.

He was not injured but was very shaken by the incident.

The camera bag contained a Canon 70D camera, Canon 24-104 lens and a 64gb memory card.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Gloucestershire Constabulary on 101 quoting incident  302 of 9 April. 

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