POLICE are urging caution after a number of thefts in supermarkets across the borough.

The incidents are believed to be linked and police have issued a description of a man they would like to speak to in connection with the offences.

He is described as white, with a bald head, stocky build and wearing glasses.

The first report was on Thursday, February 15 at around 2pm that a purse had been stolen from an elderly victim at Morrison’s on Boundary Road.

The victims bank cards were used and a quantity of cash was spent.

Later that day a report was received at around 4pm that a man had unsuccessfully attempted to steal a purse at the Tesco store on St Helens Linkway.

On Wednesday, February 21, another purse was reported as stolen at Morrison’s on Boundary Road, again the victim’s bank cards were used and a quantity of cash was spent.

This happened again at the store on Sunday, March 4 when a purse containing bank cards had been stolen and the suspect was seen to be wearing a black shirt and a black coat.

Local Policing Inspector, Neil Birkett said: “I am urging the community to be extra vigilant while out at supermarkets and other public places.

"Take extra care to zip handbags, purses and pockets, don’t write down pin codes or keep them together with cash cards, and split up cash in different parts of your handbag.

“Members of the public should be alert when paying for items using their pin number and when withdrawing cash from ATMs at all times.

"Any suspicious activity should be reported immediately and supermarket staff in the area have also been briefed to be extra vigilant. I would also ask neighbours and family members to pass this advice on to elderly or vulnerable people.

“Extensive CCTV enquiries have been ongoing and I would like to reassure the public that we are determined to stop those responsible before any more innocent people are targeted.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Merseyside Police social media desk via twitter @MerPolCC or Facebook Merseyside Police CC. You can also call 101 quoting incident reference 18200037690 or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously, on 0800 555111 or via their online form at: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/give-information.