Belfast Telegraph

Belfast woman chased 'low-life' who snatched handbag as she walked to train station

By Gillian Halliday

A Belfast woman bravely chased a male mugger who stole her handbag after stalking her as she walked alone through the city centre.

The victim, who does not wish to be identified, was walking to Belfast Lanyon Place train station from her workplace on the Ormeau Road when she was targeted on Tuesday at around 5.30pm.

The 27-year-old said yesterday her ordeal began when she noticed a man standing "facing the wall" along Eliza Street Terrace.

"I just got like a negative, aggressive vibe off him," she said.

Still uneasy, she continued walking until the male pounced on her opposite St George's Market.

She said: "I felt someone push me from behind. He grabbed my handbag with such force that I heard the straps pop and snap off."

The man fled with her bag as the woman ran after him - only abandoning her pursuit when she realised her mobile phone had fallen out where the mugging took place.

Retrieving her phone, the woman immediately contacted the police.

"It was so dark and he had his hood up, I didn't see his face," she said. "He's a low-life. He was obviously waiting for someone to prey on and unfortunately that person was me. But if it wasn't me, it would've been someone else."

As well as losing her purse - containing her driving licence and credit cards - the woman said her handbag had sentimental value, as it was a gift from her sister.

Stressing she would not let the incident prevent her from walking through the city centre, the woman said that she would be "more vigilant in the future".

Describing her attacker as around 5ft 3ins in height, wearing a black or dark coloured hoodie, the woman said she shared her ordeal on Facebook in order to warn others.

"I normally don't put much personal stuff on Facebook, but I made my post public so that others knew to be careful in that area.

"I took it with a pinch of salt, but there would be others more vulnerable, with more valuables in their bags," she added.

Police confirmed they are investigating the incident and are appealing to anyone with information to contact them on the non emergency number 101, quoting reference 897 of 15/01/19.

Belfast Telegraph

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