Pickpockets operating in Northcote Plaza, Preston Markets and Northland

Police are advising women to pay closer attention to their handbags as there have been numerous reports of thefts from handbags in Northcote Plaza, Preston Markets and at Northland Shopping centre.

Zipping up or securely closing your bag is the first line of defence against pickpockets but being aware of others around you while in busy shopping areas is also important. Similarly, it’s wise to make sure you can always see your handbag if you are sitting down at a cafe or elsewhere. Leaving your bag hanging over the back of your chair or under the table out of your sight is an open invitation to a thief.

How a pickpocket works
This is how a pickpoket conceals stealing a purse from a handbag.

While most people do not carry large amounts of cash on them anymore, we all carry numerous bank and credit cards and other pieces of information that can be used to steal our identities.

Melbourne is considered one of most liveable cities in the world and this is in part due to the sense of security we feel in public places. However, that feeling of security can lead to complacency.  And complacency is what pickpockets rely on and they will always go for the easiest target.  Simply zipping up your bag after buying something could be the difference between a day at the shops or a trip to the copshop.