Houghton Regis handbag robberies target elderly victims as police find an offender’s bike

Police image of the bike.
Police image of the bike.

Officers investigating three incidents which happened over the weekend in Houghton Regis are appealing for witnesses to help them with their enquiries.

The first incident (reference 40/33043/18) happened on Saturday (20 October) at approximately 4pm. A woman in her 70s was walking down Brookfield Avenue when she was approached by three boys on pedal cycles. One of the boys snatched her handbag and the group moved off from the scene.

The offenders are described as white boys in their teens. The boy who grabbed the bag was wearing a dark hooded jacket.

The next day (Sunday) at approximately 2.20pm, a young woman was walking along Dolphin Drive when she was approached by two teenage boys on bikes (reference 40/32498/18). One of the boys attempted to snatch the woman’s handbag but was unsuccessful.

The offenders are described as white, in their late teens, wearing dark coloured clothing and dark hooded jackets. One of the offenders is described as having fair skin and strawberry blonde or red hair.

The third offence (reference 40/32555/18) happened in Houghton Hall Park at approximately 3pm on Sunday (21 October) when an elderly couple were walking along a pathway. They were approached by a group of three teenage boys on bikes. One of the boys attempted to grab the woman’s bag, which caused the woman to fell to the ground and sustain minor injuries. The offender fell off his bike and ran off on foot and the two other boys rode off on their bikes. The bike has been seized by the police.

The offenders are described as white boys in their teens and were wearing dark hooded jackets.

Detective Constable Daniel O’Mahoney, investigating said: “These outrageous incidents happened over the weekend in the same area of Houghton Regis. We are linking this three crimes and we are appealing for anyone who might have seen anything around the time of the incidents.

“We would also like to speak to anyone who recognises the bike in the picture or knows who it belongs to.

“We are currently fully dedicated to investigating these incidents, but we would like to issue a vigilance reminder. Please be cautious and report all suspicious behaviour to the police.”

The force issued another appeal earlier today for an attempted robbery also believed to be linked to this series of robberies.

Anyone with information about any of these incidents is asked to contact the police through their website or by calling 101 and quote the relevant reference number.

Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.