Smart move gets results

Smart devices helped police catch a pair who allegedly stole a handbag from an unsuspecting tourist in Dunedin on Sunday afternoon.

The incident followed a spate of handbag thefts from licensed premises at the weekend, prompting a warning about opportunistic thieves targeting unsecured items.

The German tourist was at the Dunedin City Library when a man and woman made off with her handbag, which contained items including cash, cards and passport, about 2.30pm, Sergeant Matt Scoles said.

A CCTV image of the alleged offenders was snapped on a police iPhone and then sent to Sgt Scoles, who forwarded it to officers.

An off-duty police officer later saw the male and accompanied him to Dunedin Central police station.

The handbag and cash were recovered. However, the passport was yet to be located.

A 36-year-old woman and a 37-year-old man have been charged with theft in connection with the incident.

The pair were expected to appear in the Dunedin District Court this week.

Sgt Scoles said the arrest highlighted the importance of CCTV and mobile devices, for disseminating information quickly to officers.

Police were reminding people to be vigilant following a spate of handbag thefts at the weekend, and a handbag snatch at

Countdown supermarket in the city last week.

Several handbags were stolen from licensed premises during the weekend, and people needed to remember some people went to these places to ''steal jackets and handbags''.

''There are a lot of opportunists out there.''

Patrons were urged to keep their handbags with them at all times, or use a coat check facility if available.

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