CCTV appeal after ‘despicable’ Leyburn purse thefts

Police have issued CCTV images of two people they want to talk to in connection with purse thefts in Leyburn.

Between 11.30am and 12pm on Wednesday two elderly women were shopping in the Co-op in Leyburn market place, when a man put his hand into the victims’ handbags, and removed their purses.

The man was with a woman.

Richmondshire neighbourhood inspector Mark Gee said: “This was a despicable crime, where two elderly shoppers have been deliberately targeted, and have had their purse and cash stolen from their handbags.

“I would appeal for anyone who has information, or for anyone that has seen people acting suspiciously in the Leyburn town centre to immediately contact the police.

“I do not want any further elderly victims, this is a horrible crime for them to have to deal with, and my local officers are doing everything they can to bring these offenders to justice.”

Officers would like to speak to the two people pictured on CCTV in the shop as they may have information that could assist the investigation.

Anyone who recognises them is asked to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, quoting reference 12180048212, or email

Meanwhile, police have issued crime prevention advice to shoppers, urging them to be vigilant:

  • Keep your handbag on you, zipped with no valuable items on display (this includes your mobile phone). Do not leave it unattended.
  • Do not carry large amounts of cash with you. Withdraw only money needed at the time.
  • Be mindful of distractions, thieves working in pairs may attempt to divert your attention in order to steal your handbag or its contents
  • Attach your purse to your handbag with a secure cord and keep your mobile in a zipped internal pocket or on your person.
  • Some Neighbourhood Policing Teams, Neighbourhood Watch schemes or community safety partnerships distribute handbag alarms or chains, which are a good way of preventing someone removing a purse.


  1. This story of two elderly ladies having their purses stolen in the Co-Op last Wednesday is shocking & I hope the police catch the couple responsible ASAP. I can’t believe it happened in Leyburn! The two ladies must be very shaken up & feel very vulnerable. My mum is 88 years old & I would hate to think of it happening to her. There are some horrible nasty people out there but it’s unusual to hear of such wickedness occurring in Leyburn.

  2. How times change when We moved to Leyburn area in 80’s they had just shut the court Lack of crime .

Comments are closed.