Police have today released three photos of suspected thieves and shoplifters in Winchester.

The 78-year-old victim went into a shop in Winchester city centre where she used her debit card. 

She was then followed by two men and a woman who stole her purse from her handbag.  They then used her debit card to withdraw £150 from a cash machine. It happened just after 2pm on Wednesday, December 4. 

The victim realised her purse was missing when she went to use her debit card a short time later.

In a separate incident, a burglary took place at around 12.30pm on Thursday, November 8 when a woman entered the staff room of Regis hair salon, Colebrook Street. She stole an Apple IPhone4 worth £599 and three sets of GHD hair straighteners worth £320.

Officers believe these incidents are linked and the same people may be responsible for both.

The people police want to speak to in connection with both incidents are described as:
Suspect one: Eastern European man, in his 30s, 5ft 7ins tall, medium build with short black hair;
Suspect two: Eastern European woman in her 30s, 5ft 5ins, slim;
Suspect three: An eastern European man in his 30s.

PC Adam Quantrill, of Winchester City Centre Safer Neighbourhoods Team, said: "Winchester city centre has an excellent CCTV system which has meant that we have been able to capture these clear images of the people we would like to speak to.  We believe the same people are responsible for both incidents and are appealing for anyone who recognises the people in the CCTV to come forward and speak to us.

"The theft on December 4 took place on a very busy day during the peak of the Christmas shopping period.  I am confident somebody would have seen something or will recognise the people in the CCTV.

“When using your cards to pay in shops, protect your PIN and be mindful of those around you.  Think about where you keep your purse or wallet when shopping – keep them zipped away where they can’t be easily reached.”

Anyone with any information should contact PC Quantrill in the Winchester City Centre Safer Neighbourhoods Team at North Walls police station on 101 or call Crimestoppers, the charity, anonymously on 0800 555 111.