ROMONA Markowska's conviction has thrown the spotlight on a problem police in Huddersfield face from purse-dipping gangs from eastern Europe.
They tend to work in threes or fours and travel by bus or train away from the areas where they live.
Det Con Russ Conlon, of Kirklees CID intelligence unit, said: "We have a problem in Huddersfield from gangs from eastern European countries such as Poland, Albania and Romania travelling here to steal from shoppers.
"Arrests used to be quite rare, but we have had more success over the last 18 months or so.
"As more get arrested they get known to us and so are identifiable and we circulate their details to town centre CCTV operators and stores on the Shopwatch scheme."
He said some purse-dippers take children with them to act as decoys and even sometimes to steal.
The classic scenario is for a woman to bump into the shopper, steal the purse from the top of a shopping bag or pocket and quickly pass it to an accomplice who then leaves the shop.
Det Con Conlon added: "Repeated appeals in the Examiner mean more people have become aware of what's happening and are more vigilant.
"But at this time of year many shoppers, especially the elderly, may be carrying more cash than usual.
"These thieves will even hang around banks to see how much people are drawing out and then follow them, waiting for their moment to steal the purse or wallet.
"Some of the thieves are very prolific and proficient at this type of offence and commit them again and again even after they have been caught."