Appeal to find culprits behind street robbery

PUBLISHED: 10:20 19 November 2014 | UPDATED: 10:20 19 November 2014

Santanna de Sousa had her bag stolen by thieves while walking in Moorfield Road.

Santanna de Sousa had her bag stolen by thieves while walking in Moorfield Road.

Archant

A Withycombe woman has revealed how she was left upset and shaken after falling victim to a street robbery near her home.

Santanna de Sousa, 22, had her handbag snatched by thieves in Moorfield Road, in one of a number of similar crimes which police say have been committed in the Exmouth area.

The incident happened on September 14, but Santanna has now decided to speak out in the hope that someone with information might come forward.

She was walking home from work at about 8.10pm, as night started to fall, when, from the corner of her eye, she saw two men emerging from Kay Close.

She said: “I knew they were following me, but thought that was normal and didn’t think anything of it. I turned round because I thought I felt someone close, and as I turned, one of them tried to grab my phone.

“They didn’t get it as I grabbed it so tight, but they grabbed my bag and ran down the road.”

Santanna’s purse was later found in a hedge.

She added: “I was really upset and shaken. It took me a little while to go out, and now when I go out, I carry a little alarm with me, but I’m constantly looking over my shoulder.”

DC Angela Galasso, of Exmouth CID, said: “Santanna is an innocent member of public who has been targeted by two unknown males.

“Since reporting this offence, I have seen how this has affected her confidence and wellbeing.

“I believe that, by the very nature of her attack, it was opportunist and these males showed no regard for this victim.

“Similar crimes have been committed in the Exmouth area and I am keen to find and bring those responsible to justice.

“I suspect that there are people in the community who know those involved, but may not come forward through fear of repercussions.

“If this is the case, I would urge anybody to report anonymously through Crimestoppers or to contact myself.

“This investigation is at a crucial stage and I am hoping the public can assist in moving this case forward.”

Police describe one suspect as white, 5ft 10ins tall, with a slim, muscular build, aged between 20 and 30, with shaven, mousey hair and glasses. He had a dark sweatshirt-type jumper, light denim jeans, black trainers with white parts on the soles and black gloves.

The second man is described as white, 5ft 10ins tall with short brown, spiky gelled or waxed hair and of a thin build, aged between 20 and 30. He was wearing a dark hoodie, dark jeans and very distinctive trainers, with luminous yellow soles and trim.

● Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111, quoting reference CR/106640/14.

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