Thieves targeting wallets and purses at shopping centres

LOCAL shoppers are being warned by Police to be vigilant about their belongings while browsing or making purchases.

Officers from the Coffs/Clarence Local Area Command said a number of people have been targeted by thieves in recent days around the area.

Police are currently investigating the theft of several purses and wallets from shopping trolleys in major shopping centres in Coffs Harbour and Toormina.

In some cases stolen credit cards have then been used fraudulently before being cancelled.

The thefts are mainly taking place while shoppers have been in major supermarkets.

Police said some general safety tips to adhere to include:

  • Make sure you have your handbag closed, don't leave it open on your shopping trolley with a wallet or purse inside.
  • Ensure you don't leave your trolley unattended even just for a few seconds while you step away to grab an item off a shelf.
  • If someone 'accidently' bumps into you at your trolley, check your purse or wallet immediately. These thieves will wait for an opportunity and then strike quickly.
  • Particularly vulnerable are the elderly and shoppers distracted by young children.

If you have any information that can assist police please call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or your local police.