Spate of bag-slitting thefts on Xmas Eve

Police are investigating nine reports of handbag-slitting thefts that took place in Orchard Road on Christmas Eve.

The thieves targeted crowded areas between 7pm and 2.30am, stealing valuables such as wallets and mobile phones.

A police spokesman told The Straits Times on Tuesday that no arrests had been made and investigations were ongoing, adding that bag slitting was a common method among thieves.

Many Orchard Road shopping malls, such as Wisma Atria, deploy more security guards during festive periods and for special events, such as product launches, when larger crowds are expected.

Mr T. Mogan, president of the Security Association of Singapore, said the Christmas Eve figure was low given the thousands of last- minute Christmas shoppers.

"The police and security guards have done a good job in keeping the number of thefts low," he said. "The onus is on shoppers to be aware of their surroundings and keep their belongings safe."

In a Facebook post on Monday, police said people should be vigilant, especially in crowded areas during the festive period.

The police advised them to:

Be wary of suspicious people or people following them.

Not be distracted by strangers creating a commotion, or accidentally bumping into or spilling something onto them.

Keep a close watch on their belongings and not leave them unattended.

Clutch their bags in front and ensure that these are fastened or zipped at all times.

Avoid carrying excessive cash, valuables or jewellery.

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