A REDDITCH man is urging people to beware even when visiting the town’s cemetery after thieves targeted his car, stealing his wife’s handbag containing bank cards, cash and her phone.
Steve Baker, his wife Rebecca, their two children and Rebecca’s mum were visiting their nan’s grave at the town cemetery last Wednesday, before planning to go on to the Beefeater for a meal.
“Another car pulled up behind us and these two guys came out looking all solemn an stuff,” said Steve, who suffers from osteoarthritis and walks with a crutch.
“My family were up ahead and I was about half way between them and the car.
“I turned and saw a third man crouching down and running to get my wife’s handbag.
“I shouted and turned back and the guy dropped the handbag then one of the other guys picked it up, they jumped in the car and drove off, nearly knocking me over.
“It was very traumatic, especially for our nine year-old daughter and our 11 year-old son, who has autism.”
Luckily Rebecca’s handbag only contained £10 in cash and she was able to cancel all her bank cards before any money was taken.
“It was such a shock and we just want to raise awareness for people to keep valuables out of sight and lock their car doors, even when visiting the cemetery,” said Steve, of Watery Lane.
The incident also spurred him to turn detective.
“The car they were driving was a Vauxhall Corsa, metallic teal blue.
“We’ve got Rebecca’s phone back, it was dumped in Butlers Hill Lane and there’s fingerprints on it and my car.
“We also believe the same car was involved in a similar incident in Romsley and Catshill, and that there’s CCTV from a shop.”
Inspector Lee Page of Redditch Police said: “This is a disgraceful crime and one which we are taking very seriously.
“A victim has been mourning a loved one during which time, her car has been entered illegally and her handbag stolen.
“While we endeavour to catch the person or people responsible, I would ask that wherever you leave your car unattended, please remove any valuables or not leave them on display and to ensure all doors are locked and windows closed.
“If anyone has any information that can help our investigation or saw anyone acting suspiciously near to the parked cars in Redditch cemetery on Birmingham Road on Wednesday, Sept 1 to please contact us via our website, quoting crime reference 22/77098/21.”