PURSE thieves targeted shoppers in Andover in a string of incidents over two days this week.

Four women had their purses stolen by offenders who snatched them from their bags while they were out shopping on Wednesday and Thursday.

The incidents took place in Asda in Anton Mill Road, Tesco in River Way and in the town centre.

Sergeant Mike Thorne said: “These incidents have caused distress to the women who were targeted.

“As part of Operation Scrooge, we’re using a variety of tactics to disrupt those who take advantage of shoppers and businesses in the run up to Christmas.

“We will continue to do that but we would also like to remind people of the steps they can take to protect their property.

“Please take a look at our advice and share the tips with your friends and family as well.”

Police have now issued advice to shoppers to prevent it from happening to them.

Officers have said to:

  • keep purses and bags closed and secure at all times
  • carry bags in front of you or diagonally across your chest
  • return cards to your purse or wallet quickly and zip it up or button it
  • use a purse that’s difficult for others to open – one that zips or snaps shut is best
  • conceal your wallet in a buttoned or zipped pocket where it doesn’t bulge
  • don’t hang bags on the back of your chair or a pushchair