A GREAT-grandmother has told how a thief snatched cash from her hand as she was shopping.
Barbara Patterson was waiting at the till of Kirby Stores in College Street, Portsea, when the crook struck.
He reached over from behind her and took a 20 note the 74-year-old was holding in her hand before running off towards Ship Leopard Street at about 11am on Monday.
Now Ms Patterson says she is scared to leave her Portsmouth home.
She said: 'My son-in-law dropped me off at the shop on his way back to work.
'I was chatting to one of the customers - we were talking about the weather.
'We said goodbye and she walked out of the shop, then I walked up to the front of the counter.
'I was just about to hand over my 20 note to the cashier and I felt an arm come across my shoulder and round me and snatch the money out of my hand.
'He didn't say a word. He must have been watching me. He just ran off.
'I go to that shop twice a week - I always get my cigarettes there, they are the only place that sells them.
'I'm frightened to death to go out now.
'I don't want to go back to the shop in case he's waiting for me next time.
'He might know me. I can't stop shaking and my knees are like jelly.'
She added: 'I know it's only 20 but it's not the point.
'I would have given him 20 if I thought he was going to do some good with it.
'I can't believe it's happened. My family are really angry.
PC Aimie Picken is now asking for witnesses to come forward who may have seen the thief running away from the scene.
'It's a despicable crime targeting a vulnerable member of the local community,' she said.
The suspect is described as a white man, of a stocky build. He was wearing a black beanie hat and waist-length black jacket, possibly a bomber jacket.
Anyone with information is asked to contact PC Picken at Southsea police station on 101 or 0845 0454545. Alternatively call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.