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A 19-year-old woman who targeted an elderly woman and stole her purse has been sentenced to 12 weeks in prison.
Eleonara Hristova from Hull appeared at York Magistrates Court today (Tuesday 31 January 2023) and pleaded guilty to theft of a purse which contained £1000.
At around midday on Friday 18 November 2022, Hristova spotted her victim at a bank in York city centre. She watched the woman take out a substantial amount of cash from her bank account, place it in her purse and then put her purse into her shopper trolley bag.
Hristova followed her victim through the city centre into the St Sampson’s Centre on Coney Street, where the victim was intending to have some lunch and waited for the moment where she could steal the purse. That moment came when the women momentarily left her shopping trolley unattended. Hristova took the purse along with the victim’s phone and keys.
Police were called to the St Sampson’s centre and thanks to the CCTV footage which captured the incident, Hristova was identified and arrested a few days later. When questioned she admitted she had stolen the items and had used about £60 of the money to buy clothes and food and spent the rest on ‘going out’ and rent.
Speaking about the sentence handed to Hristova today, Police Constable Bradley Bailey who ran the investigation said:
“This was a blatant case of a thief targeting a vulnerable elderly person for their own material gain. Hristova's actions left the victim shaken and upset about the fact she had been targeted in such a way and also fearful that someone might use her keys and enter her home. Officers took the victim home and ensured that her locks were changed and that she was left feeling secure in her own home.
“To Hristova, it was a case of wanting the cash and taking the cash, with absolutely no thought about the effects on the victim. North Yorkshire Police will not tolerate criminals targeting vulnerable victims and we will take every opportunity to bring those who do to justice.”