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Appeal to identify women following theft

News   •   May 20, 2019 06:00 BST

[Do you recognise these women?]

Detectives are appealing for witnesses and information after an elderly woman had a substantial amount of money stolen in Croydon.

At approximately 11:20hrs on Tuesday, 2 April, the 93-year-old victim withdrew £1,000 from a bank on North End. She placed the money – which was in an envelope – inside her shopping trolley; this transaction was witnessed by one of the female suspects.

The woman left the bank and was followed by the two suspects as she walked along Church Street. The suspects continued to follow the victim as she visited a number of local shops and made a number of attempts to distract her.

At 11:42hrs, one of the suspects was captured on CCTV footage bending down next to the woman’s shopping trolley. A short time later, the victim discovered that the trolley had been cut and the money taken.

Police were contacted and officers from the South Area Command Unit launched an investigation. CCTV images were secured, and detectives have today released images of the two women they are trying to identify.

Suspect 1 is of slim build with long black hair. She was wearing a grey mid-length coat, black trousers and white trainers. She was carrying a black, over the shoulder handbag.

Suspect 2 is shorter, and of larger build with long black hair. She was wearing a red hooded jumper with blue and white stripes on the upper arm, a black jacket, black trousers and black trainers.

At the time of the theft, they were both wearing headscarves, although officers believe these were put on outside the shop in an attempt to disguise their appearance.

Detective Constable Ciara Riordan, based in Croydon, said: “We believe that the suspects saw the victim at the bank counter as they were passing and deliberately targeted her.

“The victim, who was very independent prior to this crime, is now anxious about leaving her house and will only go shopping with her grandson.

“I would urge anyone who recognises these women to contact us so that we can prevent them from targeting other vulnerable members of our community.”

There have been no arrests and enquiries continue.

Anyone with information about the identity of the two suspects should call DC Ciara Riordan on 020 3276 2217 or by email on ciara.riordan@met.police.uk

Alternatively, they can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Crime prevention advice can be found via our website