Portsmouth theft victim turns detective to hunt perpetrator but is left 'angry' at police

A MAN who had his wallet stolen in the street turned detective before claiming to have hunted down the perpetrator – but was left angry when police decided not to pursue the matter.

Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 12:02 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 12:02 pm
Police officer

The victim, a retired lecturer at the University of Portsmouth who does not want to be named, lost €300, bank cards and a digital memory card with important information on it during the theft.

The 64-year-old was ‘bumped into’ on Nelson Road, Buckland, by a man on September 2 around midday before the victim’s bank card was used for a £40 transaction at Gladstone’s store in Gladstone Place.

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The man's bank then blocked a transaction when a second attempt was made to use it.

Determined to catch the thief, the victim stepped up his efforts to track down the criminal. ‘Using the location and the time of the transactions provided by my bank, I obtained CCTV footage from the store showing a clear picture of the perpetrator,’ he said.

‘I did further investigations after going to the area to do some enquiries. From this I was able to identify the perpetrator with his name and address.’

But despite informing the police of the theft, the former lecturer was left angry at the lack of action.

He said: ‘I did the police’s job for them. But they have no interest in even looking at the information and told me that they are not taking the case further.

‘Just because my bank refunded me does not mean I am not a victim of crime. I am very angry about it.

‘The police decided to take no action and were acting more like a defence lawyer.’

In an email response, police said there were ‘no known witnesses and no known CCTV’ for the wallet theft, which the officer said meant ‘this part can not be progressed’.

Referring to the bank card being fraudulently used, the police officer wrote: ‘With these incidents the bank will almost always return your money that was taken in the card use. This then makes them the victim of that and not you.

‘(The bank) chose to not support the police which means any investigation from our end is futile without their support.’

The force also said the ‘main issue’ in the case was ‘we cannot connect the original theft of your wallet to the use of your card’ before adding: ‘The user of the card can raise a defence that they have borrowed it from a friend.’

The victim said he was left stunned by the response. ‘It is outrageous that the police don't seem to recognise I am a victim of crime,’ he said.

He then mocked: ‘My dear police officer, do you give your credit card to someone whom you don't know their surname?’

The man also said he was told by his bank that police had not contacted them.

He added: ‘I have been paying tax and council tax for over 30 years to fund the police. When I became the victim of the crime, the police did not protect me but sounded like they were defending the criminal.’

A police spokeswoman said: ‘We have exhausted all lines of enquiry directly linked to the theft itself, however the incident will be reviewed should further lines of enquiry become available. The Neighbourhood Policing Team has also noted the report, should any similar crimes or patterns be identified in the area.

‘The victim has informed us that a payment was later made on a card from the wallet, but this does not necessarily provide lines of enquiry relating to the theft itself and has been reported to the relevant bank.

‘Anyone who saw a man acting suspiciously on Nelson Road on Thursday, September 2 should call 101 quoting 44210351210.’

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