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Thief steals iPhone and wallet from passenger sleeping on platform bench at Canterbury West station

By Gerry Warren

Police have released a CCTV picture of a man they believe stole from a passenger as he slept on a station platform bench

The victim, a 23-year-old Ashford man, was lying on a bench at Canterbury West in the early hours of Saturday, July 5 when it happened.

A man sat next to him and then carefully went through his pockets, taking his iPhone and wallet containing cash and bank cards.

A CCTV image of the suspected thef at Canterbury West Station
A CCTV image of the suspected thef at Canterbury West Station

The victim alerted station staff when he awoke and discovered the loss and the theft was then reported to British Transport Police who studied CCTV of the incident. They have now issued the image of the suspect.

Detective Sergeant Leigh Marshall said: "We believe the man has information which can help us with our enquiries into this incident.

“I would ask anyone who recognises him or has any information which could help to contact us immediately.”

Anyone with information about the suspected thief at Canterbury West should contact BTP on 0800 40 50 40or text 61016 quoting reference SSUB/B14 of 18/07/14. Information can also be passed, anonymously, to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

BTP are currently conducting 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.

BTP officers are working 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.

Videos featured on the Op Magnum website (www.btp.police.uk/theft) and the BTP YouTube channel show passengers the 13 most common tricks thieves use, while anti-theft surgeries will see passengers handed crime prevention leaflets with advice on how to protect themselves from thieves.

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