The City Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) is urging clubbers to keep a close eye on their valuables after two people were arrested on suspicion of ‘purse pinching’ in the early hours of yesterday morning.
Officers were on high-visibility patrol at around 2.30am when they stopped an 18-year-old woman and a 17-year-old girl in the Call Lane area of the city.
The pair were searched and found to have a purse containing a woman’s driving licence which did not belong to them.
The officers used the details on the woman’s licence to search police computer systems, which found her contact details as she had previously reported lost property.
The officers rung the woman’s phone and she was quickly found in a nearby bar, entirely unaware that her purse had been stolen.
The pair were arrested and taken into custody where they were interviewed by detectives.
The 18-year-old was charged with theft and bailed to appear before Leeds Magistrates’ Court next month.
As part of the conditions of her bail, she must stay out of the city centre.
The 17-year-old received a reprimand.
Inspector Richard Clarke, who leads the City NPT, said: “When you consider the thousands of people who come into the city throughout the day, the chance of becoming a victim of theft in the city centre is extremely rare.
“However, you can reduce this risk even further by taking simple security steps to guard your valuables. This includes keeping bags and pockets secured, ensuring valuables are not left unattended or on tables, and by reporting any suspicious activity to police or doorstaff.
“In the meantime we will be continuing high-visibility and plain clothes patrols to catch any would-be thieves.”
Detective Chief Inspector Mick Oddy, of the City and Holbeck Division, said: “Over the last year we have seen a rise in the number of thefts from people who are out on the town, and it appears young women in particular are being targeted by groups of people keen to steal mobile phones and valuables.
“I would encourage people to be more aware of their valuables and makes sure they only bring the items they really need with them during nights out.”
For more information on the work of the City Neighbourhood Policing Team, click here. Alternatively, find them on Facebook at ‘Leeds City Centre Neighbourhood Policing Team’ or on Twitter at ‘MillgarthNPT’.