Witness Appeal: Bag Theft - Hoghton Street, Southport
Police have stepped up patrols in Southport and are offering
crime prevention advice after several women had their handbags
stolen as they walked home.
An operation is in place to catch the offender and detectives
are appealing for witnesses after a 69-year-old woman was targeted
as she waited for a train in Southport on Monday night.
The woman was walking along Hoghton Street towards the train
station from the Little Theatre at around 7pm when a man approached
her in the underpass.
The man grabbed her gold and maroon-coloured handbag causing her
to fall to the ground. The offender then ran off past the council
building and down Hill Street.
A woman working at the theatre heard the victim shouting for
help and went to her aid. She took the victim inside and called the
Patrols, including officers with dogs attended and searched the
area to try and trace the offender. He is described as a white man
aged between 20 and 25 years, around 6ft tall and of slim build. He
was wearing dark trousers, a hooded top which was zipped up, and a
beanie hat pulled down low over his brow.
The woman was left incredibly shaken but did not suffer any
physical injury. Her handbag contained a small amount of cash, a
digital camera, mobile phone and various bank and store cards.
Detectives at Sefton CID are investigating whether the Hoghton
Street incident on Monday is linked to several similar ones in
Southport in the past week.
Last Wednesday (October 31), an 87-year-old woman was crossing
the road at the junction of Beach Road and Westcliffe Road having
got off a bus at around 4.30pm when she had her handbag stolen by a
man who pushed her to the floor. The offender was slim and wearing
a black waist coat-style top and a grey hat. The handbag is
described as blue and made from leather and contained cash and
various cards. A passing van driver came to the aid of the elderly
woman, who hurt her knee during the robbery.
The following day on November 1, a 73-year-old woman was walking
home from the town centre along Leicester Street at 5pm when the
same thing happened to her. The offender in that incident is
described as white, slim, aorund 5ft 9ins tall, aged around
25-years-old and wearing dark-coloured clothing and grey trainers.
The victim's black and grey handbag contained a small amount of
cash and treasured family photographs. She was uninjured but very
Then, at around 7.45pm on the same day, a 72-year-old woman
going home from the shops along Bath Street had her handbag stolen
off her arm by a man described as white, of slim build, around 5ft
10ins tall and aged in his early 20s. He was wearing a
multi-coloured patterned top with the predominant colour being
maroon. Cash, bank cards and photographs of her grandchildren were
in the red leather purse that was inside the black handbag. She
suffered bumps and bruises after falling over during a brief
struggle and was left very distressed.
Detective Sergeant Tony O'Brien from Sefton CID said; "These are
despicable incidents against vulnerable members of our community
and we have stepped up patrols in Southport to provide a
high-visibility deterrent and to reassure residents.
"In each case a lone, elderly woman has been targeted so one
line of enquiriy is that it is the same offender. Extensive
enquiries are underway to try and identify and trace him and I
would appeal to anyone who has seen anyone acting suspiciously in
these areas or elsewhere in the town to call the police.
"Street thefts are extremely rare in Southport and I would like
to reassure people that we are doing everything we can to catch the
person or persons responsible. As always, I would remind people to
take very simple crime prevention measures such as not carrying
large quantities of cash in their handbags, purses or wallets,
keeping valuables out of sight, and where possible walking with a
friend or relative when out and about late at night in poorly lit
places at night.
"Anyone who knows who this man is should call us so that we can
put a stop to these incidents as soon as possible."
Call Sefton CID on 0151 777 3055 or Crimestoppers anonymously on
0800 555 111.
Keep your mobile out of sight when you are in a public
• Be aware of your surroundings and the people around
you. If you are at all unsure don't use it
• Be aware of your surroundings - is anyone showing a
particular interest in you and your belongings?
• When carrying a bag or handbag, check it's closed
with the opening facing towards your body, especially in crowded
Separate a little money from your handbag. That way,
if your bag does get stolen, you can get still get home
• Keep your wallet or valuables out of sight. If you
can - use an inside buttoned pocket in your coat or jacket
• If you are walking, avoid dark alleys, waste ground
or short cuts and keep to well-lit streets where possible
• If you have a personal attack alarm carry it close
to you and not in the bottom of a bag or briefcase