Saskatoon police are asking people out this long weekend to be on the lookout for a woman they believe is stealing purses in the city.
Earlier this week, police said they had received three reports of people being robbed of purses and bags close to St. Paul’s Hospital since May 13.
In an email statement Friday, the Saskatchewan Health Authority stressed it takes the safety of patients, visitors and staff very seriously.
“We ensured the advisory issued by police was provided to our staff at St. Paul’s Hospital, and provided additional information about our available safety supports including the provision of safe rides and safe walk,” the statement read.
Const. Ryan Ehalt with Saskatoon police told 650 CKOM the victims of the robberies — all women — were taken by surprise.
“All of a sudden their purses are attempting to be pulled off their shoulders and taken in that way,” he said, adding police have now received similar reports elsewhere in the city.
“They’re not just limited to the area by the hospital, as we initially said, where we increased patrols.”
He noted two reports came in Thursday. One in the 200 block of Avenue L South, in which the purse was eventually recovered, the other was an attempt in the 100 block of 1st Avenue downtown.
In all five reports, the suspect description remained the same.
“She’s in her twenties with long dark hair, often worn in a ponytail or bun,” Ehalt said. “At least one of the incidents the hair was not worn in a bun, and it was almost down to the waist.”
Police recommend people walk in well-lit areas, preferably not alone, and remain aware of their surroundings.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Saskatoon police at 306-975-8300 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.