Published: March 5, 2012
London man given exclusion order after purse thefts in Burnham

A man has been given a six-month exclusion order that prevents him from entering Somerset after stealing shoppers' purses in Burnham-On-Sea and the surrounding area.

The man, from London, was arrested after his car was stop-checked in Burnham-On-Sea when it was identified by police as having previously been involved in a crime near Street.

During a search of the vehicle, a purse was found which was found to have been stolen from a shopper at a Burnham supermarket.

The occupants of the vehicle were detained and a follow-up investigation saw video clips from CCTV cameras in supermarkets and banks in the Burnham area being examined.

The methods of offending involved targeting lone females who were shopping, distracting them, and then stealing their purses from handbags.

The man appeared at Taunton Dean Magistrates Court last week where he received a 12-month community rehabilitation order for 150 hours of unpaid work, a six month exclusion order preventing him from entering Somerset. He was also directed to pay £200 compensation to his victims.

Sgt Mike Tripp told "It is important for us all that we have been able to catch these two travelling criminals and to put a stop to their illegal activities. It appears their intention was to target shoppers going about their daily business. This success is a good opportunity to remind everyone not to keep their PIN numbers with their cards and be aware that others may be trying to catch you off guard using distraction tactics."

"This type of offence is fortunately not a frequent event in our area but anyone who has any concerns about their safety whilst shopping in our towns must speak with a member of staff who will be happy to help or call the police."


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