IMAGES have been released of two women and a man who may be able to help police with an investigation in Oxford.

The incident happened at 12.03pm on Monday, September 23 when the victim, a woman in her forties who was visiting the city, placed her bag on the floor behind her in Radcliffe Square.

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Two women then used an umbrella to distract the victim while a man took the bag, before all three walked away together towards Catte Street.

The bag contained cash and personal documentation.

Investigating officer Sergeant Peter Neale, of the Oxford Central Neighbourhood Policing team, said: “I am releasing these CCTV images as I believe these people may have vital information about this incident.

“I am appealing to anybody who was in the area at the time of the offence who believes that they may have any information, or recognises the people in these images, to contact the 24-hour non-emergency number 101, quoting reference number 43190294330, or to make a report online.

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“Alternatively, you can call the independent charity Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

There has been an increase in similar thefts in the city centre.

Sergeant Neale said: “My advice to anyone is to keep items of value out of sight and to not carry large sums of cash, and make sure that bags, coats and other belongings remain in your possession at all times.

“We are working with our partners in local business, Oxford University and Oxford City Council over the coming weeks to deter further thefts.”