Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Stealing a handbag is 'not a crime'


A mother who had her bag snatched was told by police it was not a crime - because she chased after the thief and won her property back.

Sam McAlister was queueing in a coffee shop with her ten-month-old son when a woman grabbed the bag from the back of the pushchair as an accomplice distracted her.

Miss McAlister, 34, left her child with staff at the Starbucks cafe, whom she knew well, and set off in pursuit of the woman.

She confronted the thief in a nearby shop and was eventually reunited with her bag after a struggle.

But when she went to a police station to report the crime, she was told by an officer behind the desk that it was not a crime because she had got the bag back.

It was only when the former criminal barrister used her knowledge of the law that the case was passed on to a senior officer who decided to investigate.

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