Purse thieves leave woman in tears after striking at Spalding market

Please call police if your find a purse matching Bridgets handbag.
Please call police if your find a purse matching Bridgets handbag.

A mum was left in tears when her purse was stolen from her handbag as she walked around Spalding’s market on Tuesday.

Bridget Scase believes others were targeted by thieves because she was the third woman to report a missing purse to her bank, HSBC, that day.

Her Cath Kidston blue, floral purse was a gift from her daughters, Amanda and Tracy, and it came with a matching handbag.

Yesterday (Wednesday) morning, Bridget (57) searched along The Crescent and car parks between Abbey Path and Market Place as she made her way to work in the hope of finding the purse had been discarded by the thief or thieves.

Bridget (57) said: “I am just disappointed because the purse was part of a set and I would like it back if anyone finds it.

“I was shaken up and upset when I went into the bank. They know me because my daughter works at HSBC. I went in there in tears and they sorted me out.

“They told me I was the third one today that had been in and had their purse stolen or lost their purse.”

Bridget was carrying a satchel style handbag – not her Cath Kidston bag – when she went out at lunchtime on Tuesday.

The bag was behind her back and at one point she noticed the flap was undone, fastened it and moments later realised her bag hadn’t felt thick enough still to have her purse inside.

She nipped back to opticians Molsom & Associates, where she works as a dispenser, to double-check she hadn’t accidentally left the purse behind.

Bridget says the purse contained about £17 in cash and bank cards.

She cancelled her cards at the bank – and her mum’s cards too because she is a signatory on her mum’s account.

The purse was stolen at about 1.30pm.

Bridget says: “It must have happened in the market but the police have checked CCTV and they can’t see anything.”

She is now warning other women not to carry their bags on their back, as she did, and to have them at the front, zipped up.

A police spokesman said only one purse theft was reported to them on Tuesday.

Police crime prevention advice for anyone carrying a bag is “to have it across your chest and to keep your hand over the fastening”.

Other police tips on preventing personal theft or robbery include:

• Be discreet with your belongings; displaying expensive jewellery or electronic devices, like mobile phones or cameras, could attract unwanted attention.

• The most common item stolen in a robbery is a mobile phone, so make sure you keep your phone safe. If you’re not making a call, keep your phone hidden away. Keep it in one of your front pockets or inside a bag.

• If you have to walk alone at night take extra care. Stay on roads that are well lit and relatively busy.

• Plan your route in advance.

• Avoid short cuts that involve alleyways or walking across parks or commons unless they are well-lit.

• If you’re carrying a bag, try to have it across your chest and keep your hand over the fastening.

• Be aware of your surroundings and stay alert to what’s going on around you.

• Be careful with your electronics; talking on a mobile phone, listening to an MP3 player or carrying a laptop bag shows thieves that you have something to steal.

• Don’t carry important documents or credit cards that you do not need.

• Only take your wallet out when you need to.

• If you think you are being followed, cross the road or go into a shop and stay there until you’re sure you’re safe.

If you find a purse discarded in the streets, please call Lincolnshire Police on 101.