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Swadlincote Police issue warning to shoppers to be vigilant after theft from elderly woman

Posted on 6th April 2017
get a grip

Our officers from the Swadlincote Safer Neighbourhood Team have asked shoppers in the town to be vigilant after the theft of a purse from an elderly lady. 

The incident happened between 10.30am and 11am on Friday, March 24 when an 85 year-old woman was shopping in Morrisons Supermarket on Coppice Side, Swadlincote. 

The purse was removed from her handbag that had been placed on the seat in front of the handles of the trolley. 

Officers from the team would like to speak to a man who was speaking to the woman whilst she was looking at the chocolates and she had her back to the trolley. He is described as a white man, aged about 20 years, around 6’ tall, thin build and described as having ‘tanned skin’ and a stubbly beard. He was wearing dark clothing and a dark blue/grey woolly hat. He spoke in what was described as an ‘Eastern European accent’ 

Sergeant Graham Summers, who is in charge of the team, said: “The fact that someone would prey on a woman who is 85 years of age is clearly upsetting, so I would ask that shoppers pay particular care of their bags and purses whilst out shopping. 

“If anyone saw anything suspicious or has any information regarding this theft I would urge them to make contact with us.” 

As a result of the thefts the Safer Neighbourhood team and the Safer South Derbyshire Partnership have made a number of purse bells available for shoppers. They will be free and available from Monday, April 10, at the reception of South Derbyshire District Council and the customer service desks of both the Morrisons and Sainsbury’s supermarkets in Swadlincote. 

If you think you can help, please the team on 101 quoting reference number 17000124184. 

Alternatively send them a message online by visiting the Contact Us section of our website here. 

You can also anonymously contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111 or by visiting

Attached is a leaflet with some simple tips to help avoid you becoming a victim of this type of crime.


Do you need a quick answer to a general question? Then we recommend you visit the national Ask The Police web site.