CCTV image released following theft from elderly woman in Harpenden

CCTV image of the man the Herts Police wish to speak to in connection with the alleged purse theft

CCTV image of the man the Herts Police wish to speak to in connection with the alleged purse theft - Credit: Image supplied

Police investigating the alleged theft of a purse from an elderly shopper in Harpenden have released a CCTV image of a man they want to speak to in connection with the incident.

The theft occurred at around midday on Monday June 2 in the Sainsbury’s store in Harpenden’s High Street.

A spokesman for Herts Police said the woman, in her 80s, was shopping when a man approached her trolley while she was selecting items.

He allegedly stole her purse from her handbag, which was hanging from the trolley.

The man then left the store and met up with a second man before walking down the High Street and past the Harpenden Arms pub.

Her black leather purse contained cash, stamps and bank cards.

PC Mark Smith, investigating, said: “It’s particularly distressing when the elderly and vulnerable are targeted by offenders.

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“This man may be able to assist our investigation and so I would urge anyone who believes they know his identity to contact me straight away.”

PC Smith can be contacted via the Herts Police non-emergency number 101 or call Crimestoppers, the independent charity, anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Tips on how to avoid becoming a victim of theft:

• Use a handbag that can be closed properly - zipped up preferably - so that it is more difficult for someone to open it and reach in.

• If you use a handbag with a strap, wear it across your body and not just over one shoulder.

• You can register your valuables on free online property database This allows the police to have a better chance of being able to return them to you if they’re lost or stolen.

• Report incidents straight away - in an emergency, always dial 999.

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