Victim of thief has lucky break in Hitchin

A SHOPPER had a lucky escape from losing her “whole life” when she was targeted by a handbag thief.

It happened as she was browsing in New Look in Brand Street, Hitchin at 4.13pm on Saturday.

She put her handbag down on the floor to look at some clothing and turned just in time to see a woman pick up her bag and run off with it.

The victim, a 46-year-old from Hitchin, immediately started shouting and staff at the store called police.

She thought the bag had gone for good with the thief but the following day, staff found the handbag completely intact underneath a stand in the shop.

PCSO Sarah Jeffrey, who took a statement from the victim, said: “The lady concerned told me she had her whole life in her handbag - her credit and debit cards, passport, cash, designer glasses, house and car keys, driving licence, savings book and Filofax.

“Amazingly, all the property was still in there when it was recovered. We think the thief panicked when the lady started shouting and stashed the bag, possibly intending to come back later.

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“This lady had a very lucky break but said the experience had given her a shock and that she would be very careful about what she carried in her handbag in the future.

“It serves as a cautionary tale to all shoppers to be aware of their property at all times.”

A police spokesman advised: “Crowded public places like shopping areas and busy pubs can attract thieves or pick pockets because they can steal personal items without you even knowing about it. Don’t give them the opportunity. Take care of your money and personal possessions.”