PICKPOCKETS seem to be switching their attention to supermarkets around Huddersfield.
While thieves prey most at the shops along New Street, 13 people have had wallets, purses or mobile phones stolen while shopping in big supermarkets since the start of June.
The hustle and bustle provides cover for the thieves, but some victims are making things easier for them by leaving shopping bags slung across trolleys.
They then get distracted looking at items on the shelves or move slightly away from the trolley – and that’s when the opportunist thieves strike.
It takes them seconds to slip a hand in a handbag and remove the purse or mobile phone.
In one unusual case, at Tesco in Cleckheaton, the victim spotted the thief stealing from her bag – and he was far older than most pickpockets.
He is white, 6ft tall and, amazingly, aged between 60 and 70 with thin grey hair.
It shows anyone could be a thief.
The best advice is to make sure your purse, wallet or mobile phone is in a zipped-up inner pocket.
Always keep your handbag slung across the front of your body, never leave it dangling on a trolley.
These crimes are very distressing for the victims.
Morrisons in Heckmondwike now tannoy reminders to shoppers to keep close care of their valuables and it would be great if other supermarkets did the same.
A 17-year-old girl had her mobile phone snatched while she was talking on it.
The victim was walking on Garden Street in Ravensthorpe at 5.40pm on Wednesday speaking on her phone when a thief snatched it and fled towards Huddersfield Road.
The offender has a middle eastern appearance, is in his early 20s and was wearing a blue, half-length quilted jacket.