Detectives are seeking the public’s assistance to help catch a thief and robber who has been stealing handbags from women in Cliftonville.
Officers believe the same man is responsible for the two robberies and a theft, which have all happened in the area of Tesco Metro, Pinkies Restaurant and Laleham School on Northdown Road.
During the theft on 6 January, the 74-year-old victim was at the junction of Northdown Road and Devonshire Gardens heading to Tesco Metro about 4.45pm when a man came up behind her and snatched her three-wheeled tartan shopping trolley, containing her handbag and cash.
The man then ran off, either through the alleyway running alongside Laleham School or along Northumberland Avenue.
The victim was not injured during the incident and the trolley has since been recovered.
In the second incident about 12.15pm on 13 January, an 18-year-old woman was walking along Northdown Road past Pinkies Restaurant when the man came from behind her, grabbed her shoulder bag and tried to pull it away from her.
The woman held onto the bag and during the struggle the man head butted her, causing grazing to her face. The woman fell to the ground but continued to hold onto her bag until the strap snapped, leaving the man with the bag. He then ran off toward the shops on Northdown Road.
Among the items inside the bag were the woman’s keys and money.
During the third incident about 12.30pm on 14 January, the 64-year-old victim was making her way home from Tesco Metro via the alleyway next to Laleham School when a man came from behind and pushed her to the ground.
The man grabbed her shopping trolley and tried to throw it over a large black gate that goes into the school, however the bag came free from the wheel section.
He then threw the wheel section over the gate and emptied the bag’s contents, including the woman’s purse, onto the footpath. He picked up the purse, climbed over the gate and ran off.
The victim was uninjured by the incident. Among the contents of the purse was the woman’s money and cash and credit cards.
The man is described as white, in his late teens or early 20s, between 5ft 10 and 6ft tall, of slim to medium build, clean-shaven with fair, cropped hair.
During the first incident he wore dark blue denim jeans and a light blue denim jacket, while on 13 January he wore a navy blue beanie, a blue and white bomber style jacket, and dark bottoms.
During the last incident he wore a beige woolly hat, a grey or silver scarf around his face, a beige anorak, dark bottoms, white trainers and beige gloves.
Detectives are advising the public to be extra vigilant in the area around the top of Northdown Road and to notify the police of any suspicious activity in the area.
Anyone who witnessed the theft and robberies or who knows the identity of the man is asked to contact DC Diane Francklin at Margate Police Station on (01843) 222 032. (ref 231, 511, 520)