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Lickey Hills handbag alert

Posted on November 08 2010 at 2:11:13

Police are reiterating a warning to walkers not to leave handbags in cars at North Worcestershire beauty spots after further thefts from the Lickey Hills near Bromsgrove this weekend.

A handbag was taken from a Ford Fiesta between 10am and 11.35pm on Saturday, 6th November.

And three handbags were stolen from a Skoda Octavia estate between 2.50pm and 4.05pm yesterday, Sunday 7th November.

Both vehicles were parked near the visitor centre in Warren Lane, and the handbags were taken from the boots.

In the incident involving the Ford Fiesta, a window was smashed causing £100 damage. The bag contained £50 cash, a mobile phone worth £70, a driving licence, various bank cards, and a set of house keys.

Details are still being obtained of the property stolen from the Skoda.

The previous weekend (Saturday, 30th October, 1.35pm to 2.20pm), a handbag containing a mobile phone worth £100 and a small amount of cash had been taken from under the seat of a Peugeot 206 car parked at the Waseley Hills Country Park.

The Clent hills near Stourbridge also has similar problems.

Crime risk manager PC Stan Baker said: “Despite huge efforts by police to warn people that these areas are hotspots for vehicle crime, including putting up signs and giving out leaflets, we are still seeing handbags and other valuables being stolen.

“We believe these offences are mostly committed by opportunist thieves and we are encouraging motorists to do all that they can to help deter this type of crime by removing their valuables from their cars whenever they leave them unattended.

“It’s not enough simply to move items such as handbags out of sight into the boot or conceal them under seats as offenders may be watching. Instead we recommend people bring only the essential items with them and take these with them when they go for their walk.

“Having a car broken into and a handbag stolen causes a huge amount of inconvenience. The car will need to be repaired, house locks changed if keys have been stolen, bank, credit and store cards cancelled, and driving licences and even library cards replaced.

“If a mobile phone is stolen, often a lot of contact details are stored in them, along with photos, and many people also use their phones as diaries. Handbags may also contain medication and glasses which can be difficult to replace, especially as many of these thefts happen at weekends.”

Crime prevention advice can be found on the force’s website,

Witnesses or anyone with information about the thefts are asked to contact police on 0300 333 3000 or ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111. Police are particularly keen to hear from anyone witnessing any suspicious activity around parked cars, ideally as they see it happening.

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