Woman shaken after ‘split-second’ bag snatch by cycling thief

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New Milton
The bag stolen from Janet Massey was a Christmas present from her husband

A WOMAN was left badly shaken after a cyclist reached into her car and snatched her designer handbag as she was loading shopping.

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The “split-second” theft took place as Janet Massey was putting the bags into the passenger side of her Fiat 500, which was parked in Spencer Road, New Milton, near the medical centre, around 3.45pm on Tuesday.

Speaking to the A&T, Mrs Massey said she was particularly upset to have lost her iPhone 6 with a gold back, which was inside the bag.

As well as contact details not recorded anywhere else, the phone had notes of appointments for both herself and her dogs. She was able to cancel her cards before any money was taken.

Mrs Massey explained she did not see the thieving cyclist until the moment he struck when she returned to her car after a visit to the nearby Morrisons supermarket. She wondered whether he might have been lying in wait for an opportunity.

“I just had some rolls of kitchen paper on the bonnet of the car which I was putting on the passenger seat when this man just put his arm in and took my handbag with everything in it,” she said.

“I had my two dogs on the back seat at the time. This arm went in to my left between the door hinges and me, the dogs barked and he was gone.

“It was split-second stuff – not even five seconds. He just put his arm in and out. I looked up and he was already off, cycling along the pavement towards the water tower as if he was going towards Station Road.

“I could see my bag under his right arm with the strap hanging down.”

The stolen bag was a green Radley which Mrs Massey’s husband, Michael, bought for her last Christmas from the New Milton branch of Bradbeers.

She described the offender as in his late 20s to mid-30s, lean build, and wearing what appeared to be a long, beige-brown coat. He was not wearing a helmet and was clean shaven with mousy-coloured, straight hair.

“I shouted and shouted for help, but no one did anything,” Mrs Massey continued. “Then this smartly dressed young businessman said to go to the police.

“I walked down the road to the building where all the police cars were parked outside, and I went to the door. But it was closed and said members of the public were not allowed there.

“Obviously, I didn’t have my mobile anymore, so I lost more time as I had to drive home to phone the police from my landline.”

A Hampshire police spokesperson told the A&T officers were investigating the theft and would be looking into whether the offender was captured on CCTV in the area.

Mrs Massey’s husband rushed back on the train from work in London after she called him about the theft, and he carried out a fruitless search for her bag and phone in the nearby recreation ground.

“I’m absolutely devastated,” she added. “Thank goodness I’ve got a computer, otherwise I would have been completely cut off.”

Anyone with information should contact Hampshire police on 101, quoting crime reference number 44190322870, or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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