POLICE are warning people to be on the lookout for pickpockets after a woman had her purse stolen while in a Stratford café.
The woman took her purse out to pay for a purchase in a café on Henley Street before putting it back in her bag.
But when she went to use it again shortly afterwards, the purse, which contained cash and a selection of bank cards, was gone.
Police believe someone may have got into the customer’s bag and stolen the purse.
The incident follows an increase in the number of calls to the police from people whose wallets, purses and mobile phones have gone missing recently while shopping.
And as a result, they are now reminding everyone to keep a watchful eye on their personal belongings while in town.
They say people should not carry their wallet in their back pocket and make sure bags and purses remain zipped up at all times.
Police also recommend not putting phones or cameras on the table while in cafés and advise against placing bags on nearby chairs – instead insisting they be kept on laps.
People should also be wary of strangers approaching them in the street and if in doubt, wear rucksacks on their front when they are in a known tourist area.