Wickle residents are being warned about a sneaky pickpocket technique becoming popular in North West towns and cities where gangs of highly organised thieves, usually working in pairs, target unobservant members of the public.
The victim will first be approached from the front by one of the team who will proceed to smash them repeatedly in the face with a wooden mallet. While the unsuspecting mark is being distracted, an accomplice will sneak up from the rear and lift valuables from their pocket or handbag.
Victim Grace Bowers,68, spoke about her experience: ‘I was clobbered in the face with a mallet by a young lad just the other day. It was only when I got to A and E that I noticed my purse had been taken. I felt like such a fool.’
‘We haven’t seen this level of sophistication before from pickpockets in this area,’ explained Wickle Borough commander, Chief Supt Kevin Dando. ‘We advise anyone who is approached by a stranger and clubbed in the nose with a mallet, or any type of hammer for that matter, to be extra vigilant and to make sure they are aware of the location of their valuables at all times.’