BRITISH Transport Police officers investigating the theft of two laptops in West Worthing and Durrington have released images of a man they wish to speak to.
Both offences took place within an hour of each other on Monday, January 6, and police have identified CCTV images of a man who was in the area at the time and may have information which can help officers.
PC Billy Burstow, is leading the investigation.
He said: “At 9pm, a 20-year-old man from Northern Ireland was using his Apple iPad on the 8.30pm Brighton to Southampton Central service.
“As the train approached West Worthing, the suspect approached from behind, picked it up and ran away. As he tried to leave the train, the tablet fell out of his hand and the screen cracked.”
Within half an hour, the same suspect boarded another train, the late-running 7.17pm London Victoria to Angmering service.
PC Burstow added: “As the train approached Durrington-on-Sea station at 9.20pm, the suspect grabbed a Silver Apple Macbook Air worth £1,000, from a man sitting in the last carriage of the four-coach train.
“He ran off the train with it as the doors were closing and the victim was not able to pursue him.”
This appeal follows BTP’s launch of Operation Magnum, a crackdown on theft of passenger property on the railway. As part of the initiative, officers have issued video clips to help the travelling public spot the most common tricks thieves use.
Operation Magnum sees BTP officers work with train operating companies and local police forces to disrupt and deter pickpockets who prey on unsuspecting commuters and tourists at busy stations, thieves who brazenly snatch expensive smartphones and tablets from distracted passengers’ hands, and those who steal luggage and valuables on trains.
Anyone with information on the man pictured is asked to contact the British Transport Police on Freefone 0800 40 50 40, or text 61016, quoting reference LSA/B8 of 14/01/14. Alternatively, call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
For more information on how to be aware of thieves, visit www.btp.police.uk/theft