Police hunt gang of robbers targeting vulnerable pensioners in Sheffield
A police hunt is under way for a gang of robbers targeting pensioners in Sheffield city centre.
Detectives believe the robbers were responsible for targeting three OAPs – aged 97, 88 and 79 – over a two month period.
CCTV footage has been released of a man and two women who are believed to hold vital information about the incidents.
The first robbery occurred on Wednesday, April 3 when an 88-year-old woman entered the Moor Market in Sheffield city centre at 3.40pm.
The victim, who uses a walker, and was heading towards the public toilets when she was approached by a man and woman who had followed her to the market.
The man asked the OAP for information about buses and the victim later realised that her handbag had been stolen. A woman was captured on CCTV walking out of the toilet area and putting what is believed to have been the victim’s bag over her shoulder. A similar incident was reported on Saturday, May 19, when a 97-year-old man entered Marks and Spencer at Fargate, at 11.50am.
Again, it’s believed that he was followed into the store.
As the OAP walked through the shop, it is believed that a man purposely fell into the victim - pushing him towards a pillar.
CCTV showed a woman appearing to help steady the pensioner by taking hold of his arm.
She is then captured appearing to take the victim’s wallet from his pocket.
The wallet was later found by a member of the public, missing £200. CCTV footage shows a second woman standing a small distance away on each occasion. A third incident was reported on Saturday, May 25, when a 79-year-old woman was approached by a man and two women.
On that occasion, the man asked the victim for directions and asked her to show him on his phone.
While the victim was trying to help the man, it is believed that two women searched her bag.
A witness spotted what was happening and challenged the group, who fled. South Yorkshire Police said: “Officers believe that the three incidents are connected and are keen to identify and speak to the man and two women as part of their enquiries. Do you know them?” Call South Yorkshire Police on 101 and quote incident number 803 of May 15.
Crimestoppers can also be contacted, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.