Purse thief targeted elderly shoppers in Leeds

A purse thief  who mainly targeted elderly women in Leeds shops has been jailed.

By Mark Lavery
Saturday, 16th November 2019, 11:45 am

Mother-of-three Mary Gavin stole purses from victims and fraudulently used their bank cards, Leeds Crown Court heard.

Gavin, 36, of no fixed abode, was jailed for 12 months after admitting seven thefts, two charges of fraud and one charge of receiving stolen goods.

Teenager to go on trial accused or raping woman in Leeds city centreProsecutor, Ian Cook said on January 1 Gavin took an 85-year-old woman’s purse from her handbag while the pensioner was shopping in Iceland at Cross Gates, Leeds.

Purse thief Mary Gavin targeted one elderly victim at Home Bargains in Cross Gates Image: Google

The victim realised her purse had been stolen and went to her bank to cancel cards, but Gavin had already made some contactless purchases.

On January 28, Gavin stole a pensioner’s purse at an Asda store in London and used a stolen bank card on nine occasions to buy gift cards from Asda.

On February 9, Gavin targeted a 78-year-old woman shopping in Home Bargains at Cross Gates.

Gavin reached inside the pensioner’s shopping trolley and stole her purse, which contained £75 cash.

Mr Cook said 20 minutes later, Gavin stole a 75-year-old woman’s purse from her handbag as the pensioner shopped in Poundland at Cross Gates.

On February 14, Gavin stole an elderly woman’s purse at a Morrison’s store.

10 items which can't be recycled in Leeds green bins - and what to do with themOn October 9, Gavin stole a man’s wallet at the Trinity Leeds shopping centre.

She used a stolen bank card to spend more than £75 in three transactions at a Tesco store.

Mr Cook said a woman’s handbag was stolen while she was bowling at Hollywood Bowl in Kirkstall on November 15.

Gavin was charged with receiving stolen goods after she was found to be in possession of the handbag on October 20.

Gavin has 34 previous convictions for 113 offences including 68 for theft and fraud.

Hen party website ranks two Leeds cocktail bars as best in UKShe committed the offences while out of prison on licence after being released from a two-year jail sentence imposed for thefts and frauds in November 2017.

Mitigating, Craig Sutcliffe said: "The defendant is upset and ashamed about her behaviour.

"She recognises at her age she has to take responsibility for her family."

Jailing Gavin for 12 months, Recorder Maria Karaiskos told her: "Clearly a lot of distress, inconvenience and emotional upset was caused to all these people."