Girl, 13, falls prey to handbag thief

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A TEENAGE girl was left distraught after her early Christmas present was stolen while she was shopping in Doncaster town centre.

Thirteen-year-old Savannah Hickman had received her £150 BlackBerry phone only a few days before the Christmas shopping expedition from her home in Thorne.

She believes her handbag, containing the phone and about £40 to buy presents, was taken while she was choosing items in Primark in the Market Place.

Her mother, Sue Hickman, is warning other teenagers to be careful while shopping in the final week before Christmas.

“It was so busy in Primark that you couldn’t move,” she said. “She’d been trying things on and had been very careful but when she got to the till to pay for her goods she realised she didn’t have her handbag.

“We are wondering if someone has cut the straps of the bag because she didn’t feel anything.

“Savannah was distraught when she realised the phone had gone as she had been given it early because she needed one for a school trip. She has learned an expensive lesson.

“She had a panic attack because she was so upset. It has ruined Christmas for her and we feel so sorry for her.”

Police have been informed of the incident last Saturday but say there have been very few reports of pickpockets this year.

Inspector Jakki Hardy, of the Urban Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “As we approach Christmas the town centre will be much busier then usual with shoppers and visitors, so I would urge the public to be vigilant to their surroundings, always make sure their bags are fastened up and keep purses and mobile phones out of sight.

“Officers from the safer neighbourhood team are conducting a number of operations during December and will be out patrolling in the town centre over the festive period.

“If you want to report any suspicious behaviour or have been a victim of a pickpocket please contact the police on 101.”