Police launch Christmas crackdown on crooks using trains in South Yorkshire

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Train users in South Yorkshire are being urged to be on their guard against crooks operating over the festive season.

British Transport Police issued the warning as part of a new Christmas crackdown on theft across the railway network.

Special operations will be running at stations and on board trains in the run up to Christmas and the New Year .

There will also be more officers – both in uniform and undercover – carrying out patrols in a bid to deter thieves on the look-out for passenger property including presents, suitcases, bags, bikes, mobile phones and laptops.

As part of the new campaign CCTV images have been released by British Transport Police to help officers identify people they believe could hold vital information about a number of offences.

They include the theft of a purse on a train travelling between Leeds and Doncaster – crime reference SS01 – and the theft of a suitcase on a train travelling between Loughborough and Chesterfield, reference SS02.

Officers are also investigating the theft of a wallet left on top of a ticket machine in Doncaster, reference SS08, the theft of a suitcase on a Sheffield to Swinton train, reference SS07, and the theft of a bag and jacket stolen from a train travelling between Sheffield and Rotherham – SS09.

Superintendent Eddie Wylie said: “Traditionally we see a rise in the number of people using trains and stations at this time of year.

“Unfortunately, with this we also see an increase in thieves targeting passengers.

“They often look to take advantage of people who may have consumed too much alcohol, may be travelling with a lot of luggage to visit family and friends, or unsuspecting shoppers carrying bags containing expensive presents.

“We want to create a hostile environment for thieves, making it as difficult as we can for them to operate on any part of the network.”

Anyone with information is asked to call British Transport Police on 0800 405040.