THIEVES have targeted elderly customers at supermarkets in Frodsham and Helsby.

Police are now warning people to be on their guard following incidents at Morrisons in Frodsham and Tesco in Helsby yesterday (Wednesday, November 29).

Chief Inspector Mike Evans, of Chester Local Policing Unit, said: “Purse dipping, particularly at this time of year, can be a perfect chance for thieves to strike therefore we need the public, especially the elderly community, to be extra vigilant.

“This type of crime tends to be target the elderly and I would remind them to take some basic preventative measures, such as keeping your bag zipped and closed at all times as well as not keeping large quantities of money in your purse.”

Officers suggest the following precautions to deter opportunistic thieves:

• Walk with a sense of purpose.

• Carry your purse in a zipped-up-bag. Keep the bag where you can see it.

• Attach an audible alarm to your purse/wallet (for example purse bells).

• Never leave your bag in a shopping trolley or basket.

• Make sure you are not followed or engaged in conversation by someone who might be looking for an opportunity to steal from you.

CI Evans added: “Yesterday, Police Community Support Officers (PCSO) handed out purse ‘jingle’ bells to elderly residents and they are a really useful tool to guard against this type of crime.

“Whether you’re an elderly resident yourself or you have a friend or family member who would like one, please get in touch with your local PCSO or call 101 and we will get them to send you one.”

Anyone who sees someone acting suspiciously around others or has any information is asked to contact Cheshire Police on 101.