Shopper recalls: ‘How I had my wallet stolen in central Belfast’

Pickpocket victim Barbara Lowry, who is retired, from Co Down

Pickpocket victim Barbara Lowry, who is retired, from Co Down

In the wake of pick pocketing in Lisburn, police there are offering shoppers jingling bells they can attach to their wallets or purses so thieves can’t make off with them so easily. The thefts are not just happening in Lisburn – BARBARA LOWRY, from Co Down, recalls how her wallet was stolen in Belfast city centre last week:

“I was in the House of Fraser having a nice morning last Monday (December 12).

I had been looking for a dress which I actually found and tried on and bought. I was really pleased.

The girls at the till were very helpful and noticed the wallet and complimented it, it had a nice red pattern.

I came down and there were a lot of people outside trying to get donations for charity. I remember giving a coin to one, I think it was a cancer charity.

I suspect I had to open my wallet to get the money.

I then walked to where I was going –another shop opposite Castlecourt. I was looking at boots. I had been watching my bag even though it was not on my hand. When I chose the shoes, and then went to open my bag to pay for them there was no wallet.

I was shocked and ran up and down the shop looking.

I saw a police car outside and said to the officer sitting inside that I might have had my wallet stolen. He was helpful but he was on another job. Later he phoned to say that he was going to examine CCTV footage, so he was helpful.

I went back to House of Fraser to see if I had left it there – I was pretty sure I hadn’t. The girls at the till said they remembered me putting the wallet back in my bag.

There was not much to do except phone the bank and cancel my cards. It took about two hours to do that.

I had no way to pay for the car to get out of Victoria Square car park but they were very understanding.

My car keys had been in the bag, not the wallet, so they were not taken.

It is a lesson I will never forget. I was upset all day, and annoyed at myself.”

• PSNI advice in Lisburn was issued after a woman had money stolen from her purse by a pickpocket in a shop on Bow Street. A PSNI spokesperson said: “Consider moving your wallet to your front pocket instead of keeping it in your back pocket and keep handbags closed when not in use. For an extra bit of security you could attach a set of purse bells to your purse.”