Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Revealed: West End's Handbag Snatchers

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Revealed: West End's Handbag Snatchers

Article excerpt

Byline: Justin Davenport Crime Editor

POLICE today warned Londoners to keep a close eye on their possessions, amid growing bag thefts in West End bars, pubs and cafes.

They released a photo gallery of suspected serial thieves caught on CCTV by businesses taking part in Facewatch, a pioneering drive to tackle theft of bags, laptops and mobiles in Westminster, of which there are about 20,000 a year.

Chief Superintendent Simon Ovens said: "These are opportunistic crimes and I urge people to keep their bags close to them, keep them zipped up and call police if they are suspicious of people hanging round bars or coffee shops. Each crime can cause huge disruption to people's lives."

He also warned thieves: "If you come to the West End to commit crime you can expect to be arrested."

The images are from CCTV at premises including shops, museums, hotels and bars. Facewatch allows film of suspects to be uploaded instantly to a central database. …

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