Organised gangs warning

THIEVES are targeting busy Huddersfield pubs and nightclubs to steal purses, wallets and mobile phones.

Police believe the number of thefts is increasing alarmingly and think organised gangs could be involved.

Some of the credit cards the thieves find in wallets and purses are later used to commit fraud in shops.

Now, plainclothes police are to blend in with the crowds to try to catch the thieves red-handed.

Insp Dave Barnett, of Huddersfield police, said: "Some mobile phones are being snatched off tables and thieves also reach into unattended bags and jackets to steal purses and wallets.

"It is vital that people make sure their handbags, jackets and coats are being watched by friends if they are going to the bar or for a dance.

"Don't make it easy for thieves."

Insp Barnett added: "We have a message for the culprits. We will be out and about, so the next time you think of committing a crime the police may just be watching."

A meeting was held yesterday between the police and staff from some of Huddersfield's busiest pubs and clubs, in a bid to make them more aware of the precautions they can take to thwart thieves.

"We asked them to be extra-vigi- lant," said Insp Barnett.

But he also had words of warning for people tempted to report their mobile phones or money as stolen in an insurance fiddle.

"We investigate all reports to make sure they are genuine," he said.

"If they are not, we will find out. The person who reported the crime will have to face the consequences."