Pickpocket alert after cash is stolen

PICKPOCKETED Barbara Bennett has �160 taken from her bag.   Picture: Allan Hutchings 9113190-399)
PICKPOCKETED Barbara Bennett has �160 taken from her bag. Picture: Allan Hutchings 9113190-399)
Scot Mackenzie

Family’s urgent plea to find missing loved one

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Barbara Bennett is urging shoppers to be vigilant after she was pickpocketed of £160.

She had just withdrawn money to pay bills from Santander bank in London Road, Waterlooville, when the crooks struck.

The thieves acted so quickly that the 57-year-old did not notice the cash was missing until she opened her handbag to get something else out and saw there were loose notes.

The thieves did not get all of her cash – but they managed to flee with £160.

Now Mrs Bennett, of Milton Road, Cowplain, is speaking out in a bid to warn others.

She said: ‘I want other people to be vigilant when they are taking cash out. I’m convinced it’s a gang and someone was watching.

‘There’s no way the money could have fallen out.

‘As my husband said it’s only money that’s gone – I could have been mugged, all sorts of things. They didn’t get all of it, obviously they just grabbed what they could. The bank book was still in my bag.’

Now police are investigating the theft, which happened at about 12.30pm last Friday when the market was in Waterlooville.

Mrs Bennett added: ‘I was out for about an hour with my sister.

‘I was going down into town on my cycle to get the money out to pay some bills.

‘She rang and said she was going to be in Waterlooville so I met here down there.

‘I took the money out of Santander. I want other people to be aware of what’s happening – the police know it’s happening.

‘I’m convinced someone saw where I put the money.

‘I thought I was being sensible and putting it somewhere safe away from my purse.

‘I put it in a compartment on its own on the outside of the bag.

‘Thinking back I did feel my bag being bumped but I thought I had bumped into one of the rails in a shop.’

Hampshire Constabulary spokesman Neil Miller said: ‘Police are investigating this incident, which is not being linked with any other at this time.’

Anyone with information should contact Waterlooville police station on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.