Byline: By SIMON WALTON
LIFE-LIKE figures of police officers could be placed in shops in a bid to deter purse thieves preying on elderly victims.
Police in Redcar are considering the measure following a spate of purse thefts from handbags in the town centre.
Elderly women visiting charity shops and other high street stores have been targeted by pickpockets who take purses and valuables from their handbags.
Redcar police warned shoppers to be on their guard - and sent a message to the thieves.
Neighbourhood policing sergeant Derek Knight said: "This crime affects some of the most vulnerable people in our community.
"My message to those who think there are easy pickings to be had in Redcar is this - we know who you are and we will work with our partners and do all we can to bring you to justice."
Police are already working in partnership with the Redcar Business Against Crime group, Redcar and Cleveland's Community Protection Officers and store managers.
Posters warning of so-called "purse dippers" have been put up in shops. …