PENSIONER Maureen Ponsford has been left devastated after thieves stole one of the last gifts her late son gave to her.
The 69-year-old was doing her weekly shop at Morrisons, in Horndean, when two crooks pounced.
They snatched her bright purple purse, which was a gift from her son Nick, from Portsmouth, who died suddenly two years ago at the age of 42.
The purse also contained three pebbles – black, green and tan – which were found in her late mother’s purse and Maureen had been carrying them round with her for the past 35 years.
As well as sentimental photographs, Maureen’s purse contained £240 in cash.
She had put extra in to treat herself as it had been her birthday the day beforehand.
Maureen was targeted as she was searching for batteries and her handbag was hanging on the hook of her trolley.
‘I sensed somebody was reaching lower down to the batteries,’ said Maureen, who lives in the Waterlooville area.
‘Then I sensed a tall person reaching across me.
‘I said something like “I’m sorry if I’m in your way”.
‘Then I felt a slight movement on the handle of the bag and I looked down and my bag was wide open and unzipped and the purse had gone.’
Maureen said the two people disappeared, but she believes it was a man and a woman.
‘I was in shock,’ she said.
‘The purse was sentimental. My son had bought it for me.
‘It was bright purple and he was a someone who normally liked the colour black.
‘Then he came up with this bright purple one.
‘He started buying me bright colours.
‘It started getting tatty but I made good of it because it was a present.’
Maureen does not care about the money, but has asked if the purse with the sentimental items can be returned to Morrison’s or Waterlooville police station.