A woman who committed a string of thefts in Birmingham city centre will be spending Christmas behind bars after police put a stop to her crime spree.
Ann O’ Halloran, aged 35, stole coats, handbags and mobile phones in the run up to the festive season, targeting people on public transport and in restaurants across the city.
In one case, on 16 September this year, she climbed all over a male victim who was travelling on the number 10 bus from the city centre, before stealing his phone and hiding it in her bra. When confronted by other passengers she secretly passed the phone to a female accomplice before taking off her clothes to prove she didn’t have it. Both women then ran off.
In other incidents, O’Halloran, currently of no fixed abode, went into pubs and restaurants and took coats, handbags and even a purse from a baby’s pushchair while the child was still in it.
She was caught when a quick-witted witness called police and gave a good description after she had snatched a handbag from a branch of Nandos. Officers arrested her at a pub nearby where she was quickly linked by witness descriptions and CCTV to her other offences.
She continued her attempts to evade justice by repeatedly lying about where she lived to prevent police carrying out searches to recover property. She eventually gave a third address, where officers found clothing linking her to all of the offences.
She was sentenced to a year in prison at Birmingham Magistrates Court, where she pleaded guilty to nine counts of theft. She was also given a criminal behaviour order banning her from all cafés, coffee shops, bars, pubs and restaurants in Birmingham city centre for three years.
PC Mat Evans said: “Pickpocketing and handbag thefts are offences we take very seriously in Birmingham, as the property stolen is often very personal to the victim and not easily replaced, which can cause them great distress.
“Thieves like O’Halloran are only interested in cash and phones and don’t care who they hurt in the course of their crimes, and in this case she was literally willing to steal from babies. She has shown no remorse for her actions.
“Hopefully it is a comfort to her victims that O’Halloran will spend this Christmas behind bars, and it also means others will be safe from this one woman crime wave.”
Source:: West Midlands Police News