Police are appealing for witnesses following a spate of unusual linked incidents in the Gosforth area of Newcastle. They all happened between 5.30pm and 6.10pm on Tuesday, January 5, in the area around Regents Centre. A man described as white between 30 and 50 years old, wearing dark coloured clothing, approached people on the street and carried out a number of offences, all believed to have been committed by the same person.
Neighbourhood Inspector Julie Rana said: "This is a highly unusual series of incidents which we believe have been carried out by one man over a short space of time in around Regent Centre. Fortunately no one has been seriously injured in this spate of incidents but clearly this was distressing for those involved and we want to find the person responsible as quickly as possible.
We're appealing for witnesses and for anyone who may know who this person is who has carried out these offences to contact officers. We have extra neighbourhood officers on patrol in this area to reassure local people and to carry-out enquiries.
"We'd ask for anyone who thinks they may be able to assist us to get in touch straight away."
The first incident happened at 5.35pm a 37-year-old man had just got off the bus at the bus stop opposite Regent Centre when a man approached him from behind and stole his glasses from his face and ran off with them.
At 5.40pm A 28-year-old man reported being followed by a man near to the Regent Centre but nothing untoward occurred.
At 5.50pm a woman walking on Lansdowne Terrace holding an umbrella was approached by a man, he asked her for the umbrella and then grabbed it breaking the umbrella and twisting her fingers before making off.
A woman was also walking in the back lane towards Regent Centre when she was aware of a man behind her, she started to run and the man went to grab her bag which made the lady fall over. She screamed and the male ran away. The woman was distressed but otherwise unhurt.
A short time later a 23-year-old woman walking on Regent Road was approached by a man who stole her headphones off her head.
Between 5.55pm and 6pm a 40-year-old woman was waiting for a bus on High Street in Gosforth when she was approached by a man who pushed her and grabbed her bag and threw it into the road before making off.
Between 6pm and 6.10pm a 31-year-old man was on the High Street when he was approached by a man who demanded money, when the man refused he walked off.
Anyone with information about any of these incidents is asked to contact police.