Prolific pickpocket targeting elderly woman in Northants being hunted by police after string of purse thefts

Police want to trace this man after an alleged pickpocketing incident in St James.

Police want to trace this man after an alleged pickpocketing incident in St James.

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A man believed to have picked the pockets of elderly people in Northamptonshire is now thought to have carried out a string of purse thefts across the UK.

Northamptonshire Police has previously appealed for the public’s help following the theft of purses from elderly women while they have been shopping in Brackley and Northampton.

However it now appears the same offender could be responsible for similar incidents in Leicestershire, Surrey, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire.

Sergeant Micki Simons, said: “Although on the face of it these crimes appear to be minor, they have had a significant impact on the victims who are elderly women.

“In both of the Northamptonshire incidents, the offender has taken the purse from the women while they have been shopping, taken cash and bank cards and dumped the purse nearby. Money has then been withdrawn from the victims’ bank accounts soon after.

“Our investigations have led us to believe that the same man may be responsible for up to nine incidents in recent months, and possibly even more.

“We have had two incidents in Northants, but there have also been three in Leicestershire, two in Cambridgeshire, one in Surrey and one in Hertfordshire.”

The first incident in Northamptonshire took place on Friday, February 5, at Aldi in Harlestone Road, St James, Northampton, at about 9.25am.

The second incident took place on Monday, February 29, in Oxford Road, Brackley, sometime between 11.30am and 12.30pm – see attached picture.

The man believed to be involved in the incidents is described as in his mid-40s, around 5ft 11 inches tall and of large build with short, black hair. He wore glasses, a dark waist length jacket and light coloured trousers.

Sgt Simons added: “I am appealing for the public’s help to identify this man so we can speak to him about these incidents.

“Anyone who may know who the man in the attached footage he is, or where he may live can contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 111 555.”