Opportunist thief strikes after purse dropped in Salisbury

Opportunist thief strikes after purse dropped in Salisbury

Published by Henrietta Creasey at 12:26pm 23rd April 2019. (Updated at 1:59pm 23rd April 2019)

3 minute read

Police say the offender used one of the bank cards inside to purchase a bottle of perfume.

Wiltshire Police is investigating an incident where a purse was dropped in the Robert Dyas store in the Maltings and then picked up by someone else.

They unsuccessfully tried to use one of the cards inside at a cash machine, before successfully using the contactless facility to purchase a bottle of perfume.

It's believed the purse was dropped at around 12.45pm on April 2nd, and later used in Superdrug, also in the Maltings.


Police have now released a picture of a woman they want to speak to in connection with the incident:

police theft
Do you recognise this woman?

If you know who the person is please contact PC Martyn Powell from Wiltshire South CPT on 101, quoting crime reference 54190032168.

Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


  • Cards automatically come with a contactless facility, but there is an opt out with many providers. If you don’t use the card regularly consider opting out.
  • Anyone can use the card without being requested for a pin number with a single transaction limit of £30. Anything over will this will prompt a PIN request. There is no limit on how many of these transactions can be made daily, there may be a random request for a pin number if multiple transactions are made.
  • While the overall risk of fraud with contactless is low, vigilance is crucial in protecting your cards from unauthorised use.
  • Speak to your bank/provider about the security of your cards.
  • As soon as you realise your cards are missing/stolen, contact the bank and report them stolen, this will prevent them being used and they will be rejected by chip and pin machines and swallowed by ATMs.


  • Please check and confirm the name of the person on the card with the person using the card and check that the back of the card is signed.
  • Look out for odd or furtive behaviour, such as taking the card out of a pocket when they have a wallet or handbag, or hiding/covering of the head or face when entering or exiting the store.
  • Good quality CCTV which provides clear image of the suspect is very useful.
  • Please train staff to have a good understanding of and access to the CCTV system to allow for prompt acquisition.
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