'Cowardly and outrageous' thief is grabbing handbags and cycling off
A "COWARDLY and despicable" thief is cycling up to women in the street and snatching their handbags.
Three victims were targeted in broad daylight yesterday in Normanton and Pear Tree.
Another two either had their bags stolen or the offender tried to pull them from their shoulders on Sunday.
And the same thief struck twice more during a 15-minute period last Wednesday, again in Normanton.
WITH THIS VOUCHER YOU PAY JUST
1. Voucher is not exchangeable for cash and is non-refundable.
2. Voucher can only be used once, per customer, per transaction.
3. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers or promotions.
Contact: 01246 386616
Valid until: Tuesday, May 28 2013
Inspector Richard Keene said yesterday's victims were targeted in Pear Tree Road, at 2pm, Madeley Street, at 1.45pm and in Kenilworth Avenue, at 1pm.
He said the victims were all local women who were walking by themselves and the cyclist approached from behind.
Insp Keene said: "This a cowardly, despicable and outrageous crime to women who are minding their own business walking down the street.
"Although no-one has been seriously hurt, I witnessed myself how badly shook up and distressed one of the victims was when she walked into our inquiry office and sat down with me.
"This woman was moved to tears, shaken and frightened.
"It beggars belief how someone can do such a cowardly act."
Sunday's incidents happened at 9.15am in Pear Tree Crescent and later the same day at The Cavendish.
Last Wednesday at 2.30pm a 79-year-old woman was walking along Upper Dale Road. She was approached from behind by a man on a bike who pushed her, causing the woman to stumble.
He then grabbed her handbag from her shoulder and cycled off towards Church Street.
Then, at 2.45pm, a similar incident took place in Walbrook Road.
A 57-year-old woman was walking in the direction of The Cavendish when a man on a bicycle came up behind her and grabbed her handbag and a carrier bag containing shopping.
In all incidents the only description of the offender is that he wore a dark coat and a dark hooded top, is in his late-teens or early-20s and rode a black bicycle.
He is between 5ft 6ins and 5ft 8ins tall.
Inspector Keene said: "We are determined to find whoever is responsible and bring him to justice."
Officers would like to speak to anyone who has any information about the thefts. They should call 101.