Elderly and vulnerable targeted by pick pockets in town centre

PUBLISHED: 13:43 14 May 2018

Devon and Cornwall Police are urging shoppers to be vigilant with their belongings in Exmouth town centre. Main picture by Getty Images.

Devon and Cornwall Police are urging shoppers to be vigilant with their belongings in Exmouth town centre. Main picture by Getty Images.


Vulnerable pensioners, a disabled woman and a young mum have all been targeted by pick pockets while shopping in Exmouth’s town centre.

Pickpocket Stealing a Wallet from Pocket on Jeans. Picture by Getty Images.Pickpocket Stealing a Wallet from Pocket on Jeans. Picture by Getty Images.

Police believe a gang of thieves are operating in the Magnolia Centre and could be seeking out customers in charity shops.

Rose Bremner, manager at Cancer Research, in The Parade, Exmouth, contacted police when she was made aware a stolen credit had been used to pay for goods in her store.

She said customers have told of ‘numerous thefts’ of personal belongings while shopping in the town centre.

She believes around 13 elderly and vulnerable people had belongings stolen from them while in the Magnolia shopping centre.

Exmouth and Ottery St Mary Inspector Antonia Weeks.Exmouth and Ottery St Mary Inspector Antonia Weeks.

Inspector Antonia Weeks, at Exmouth police, said officers were ‘aware’ of the crimes and ‘suspect there are other victims’.

She said three town centre thefts had been reported to police since January and urged victims to come forward.

Insp Weeks said the offenders remained at large and urged the public to remain vigilant, protect handbags, purses or contactless bank cards, and contact the police with information.

She said: “There maybe a gang targeting charity shops and vulnerable people; they are much more likely to target an older person.

“Any information helps us make the town safer and bring people to justice.

“The best case scenario is we are able to reunite people with their property.”

“We do spend a considerable amount of time in Exmouth town centre, with police on duty 24/7, and will respond to reports of crimes as quickly as possible.”

Charity shop manager Ms Bremner said a pensioner victim had their purse snatched in a town centre charity shop; an elderly man was left ‘shaken up’ when his wallet went missing after two strangers ‘bumped into’ him in The Parade.

A young mum told Ms Bremner her bag had been taken from her pushchair on Exmouth seafront and a partially sighted woman had her credit card stolen and used.

Ms Bremner, of Brixington, said: “We are warning everyone that comes in the shop; we talk to everybody and make sure they put their purses away before they leave the till.

“We don’t ask people if they have contactless, because we don’t want to alert anyone.”

She added: “Since there’s fewer police around thieves can do what they want; they can nick from shops and nothing happens. You can’t even go out shopping anymore.”

Other News Stories

A new floral display at Exmouth Hospital has been installed to ‘enhance’ the area for patients, their families and staff.

Read more

Vintage afternoon teas, perfect pies and a passion for fresh local produce have once again earned Budleigh’s Tea and Tittle Tattle a gold award from the Taste of the West.

Read more

Cycling and silliness in memory of a much-loved father-in-law has raised £600 for Age Concern Exmouth.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:00

A replacement minibus for vulnerable residents in an area of Exmouth which is being cut from a regular bus route is ‘no compromise’ according to a town councillor.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:32

A girl could play the part of a young Sir Walter Raleigh in a re-enactment of a painting depicting a scene from the adventurer’s childhood despite concerns that the artist would be ‘spinning in his grave’.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:57

Students at Exmouth Community College have been celebrating A-level record-breaking results this morning (Thursday, August 16). Post-16 students from the college found out the results of their A-Level exams this morning with 97 per cent of them passing.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:53

A seven year-old girl’s charity hair cut has been the latest fundraising effort leading a local charity to make her whole family ambassadors.

Read more
Wed, 17:30

Concerns have been raised that plans for an online portal for consultation on the vision for Exmouth seafront could leave 30 per cent of the town unable to have their say.

Read more
Wed, 17:09

Remains of a Roman farm have been discovered near Budleigh Salterton by Historic England’s flying archaeologists.

Read more
Wed, 14:43

Seaside specialists tasked with coming up with a vision for the future of Exmouth seafront are seeking the opinions of residents and organisations in the town.

Read more

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 15°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Photo Orders
Family notices
Google Plus
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Exmouth Journal twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists

Find planning applications