Police seek commuter after Barnham train theft

British Transport Police are seeking this man in relation to a theft on a train. Picture contributed by BTP
British Transport Police are seeking this man in relation to a theft on a train. Picture contributed by BTP
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POLICE have released CCTV footage this week as the search for an opportunist thief goes on.

British Transport Police (BTP) wants to trace a man after a woman’s handbag was stolen from a train in the autumn.

PC Matt Cowling-Smith said: “A 24-year-old woman from Chichester – and a friend – boarded a London Victoria service at Barnham at approximately 12.45pm. They both got off at Arundel, but the woman accidentally left her handbag, containing two mobile phones, on the train.

“The bag hasn’t been handed into lost property, and we now believe it was stolen by an opportunist thief a short time later.”

Officers said they were appealing for help from the public to identify the man in the images after the incident on October 29, 2014.

PC Cowling-Smith added: “Who is the man with the beard? I want to talk to him, as I believe he has important information about what happened. I am confident someone will recognise him, and I would urge them to contact BTP. He may have connections to the Pulborough or Billingshurst areas.”

Anyone with information was asked to contact British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40, or text 61016, quoting reference B2/SSUB of 14/01/2015. Information can also be passed anonymously to the independent charity, Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.

The appeal is part of BTP’s Operation Magnum, which aims to reduce the theft of passenger property on the rail network.

PC Cowling-Smith said: “Always remember to keep your luggage and bags close by and check on them regularly. Keep your valuables hidden and be aware of your surroundings when you board a train. Always zip up any hand or shoulder bags.”