Cocaine addict jailed over thefts from elderly shoppers

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A COCAINE addict from eastern European has been jailed after she targeted elderly supermarket shoppers as a handbag “dipper”.

Silvia Bihariova, 34, struck in Leeds, Barnsley and Oldham, stealing purses and handbags.

Neil Coxon, prosecuting, told Sheffield Crown Court the Czech national was given a suspended sentence by Leeds magistrates on May 12 last year for two thefts by “dipping” into handbags at Tesco’s in Oakwood and Marks and Spencer in Crossgates. She also has convictions for similar offences at a Sainsbury’s store in Colton, Leeds and Morrisons in Oldham.

In her most recent crime she targeted a 74-year-old woman at Morrisons in Barnsley town centre on June 18 and used her card to withdraw cash.

Bihariova, of Conway Road, Harehills, Leeds, admitted theft of a purse, theft of £100 and attempted theft of £200 and was jailed for a total of 76 weeks.

Mrs Evans had £415 in her purse and it was only when she went to pay at the till that she realised her handbag and her purse were missing.

Judge Robert Moore told Bihariova she had spent much of 2010 targeting “vulnerable, elderly ladies with money”, and warned her: “If you do this again the next sentence will be even longer.”