Police are warning shoppers not to leave their belongings unattended after a number of purse thefts in Pontefract and Knottingley.
Officers were at Knottingley’s Morrison’s supermarket on Friday and Saturday to give advice and hand out purse bells to customers.
The event was held after a rise in the number of ‘purse-dipping’ incidents reported at the store and in Pontefract.
Sgt Dan Jones, of Pontefract and Knottingley neighbourhood policing team (NPT), said: “There have been a number of purse-dipping incidents in the last year and as a result we held a number of awareness events in Pontefract.
“The problem has now spread to Knottingley so we wanted to raise awareness in the town.”
Sgt Jones urged shoppers not to leave handbags unattended in their trollies.
He added: “It seems like the thieves are targeting the elderly because they are the most vulnerable. We’ve also had incidents where people have written their PIN number down on a piece of paper. We want to urge people not to do that.”
The NPT has also been working with staff at Morrison’s in Knottingley and Pontefract.
Sgt Jones said: “If the staff are more aware of the problem, they can be on the lookout for it.
“If people see purse-dipping then it is an emergency, so call 999 then officers can get there straight away.”