Members of the public foil man who stole handbags from lone women in Nottinghamshire town

After members of the public fought back against a bag thief, the thief has been sentenced after pleading guilty to two counts of robbery. Przemyslaw Langowski, 36, of no fixed address, attempted to steal two bags in two separate incidents, and was unsuccessful in both attempts.

On Gateford Road, in Worksop, on February 5 last year, a woman had finished her food shop and was packing her shopping into her car when a man grabbed her handbag from her wrist. She was pulled to the floor and shouted: “He’s nicked my bag. Get him.”

A member of the public witnessed the crime and chased after the thief following the incident. He managed to return her bag. A day later – on February 6, 2021 – Nottinghamshire Police received a second report of a robbery on Potter Street in the town, where another woman was approached from behind. She was pushed with force and had her satchel pulled so hard that the strap snapped.

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But members of the public then rallied together to help the woman when they heard her screaming and were able retrieve her handbag moments later in a nearby garden. Langowski was tracked down by officers after he was identified to live locally to both incidents.

CCTV footage and descriptions of the man matched Langowski’s appearance and he was arrested. He appeared at Derby Crown Court on Tuesday (March 29) where he was sentenced. He’d pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery, and was handed a 23 month sentence, suspended for two years.

Detective Sergeant Ricky Ellis, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “We have to praise the brave actions in both incidents by members of the public, who spotted the women distressed and needing assistance. Without their help, they wouldn’t have got their bags back.

“In both street robberies, Langowski targeted lone women. These reported incidents, just a day apart, left the two women extremely shaken up and one had to attend hospital with a wrist injury.

“This is the effect robbery can have on victims and is exactly why our officers work so hard to investigate reports such as this. We are committed to doing everything we can to prevent these kind of incidents from happening and making sure offenders are brought to justice.”