Brazen thieves caught on Boots store camera

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Thieves who stole more than £1,000 from a 97-year-old woman are wanted by police.

The elderly victim was shopping in the Somerfield store at Portchester Precinct when a man and a woman followed her into the store.

The man struck up a conversation with the unsuspecting woman.

Meanwhile the woman he was with made several attempts to steal her purse from the shopping trolley she was using.

The victim them left the store and was again followed by the man.

He stopped her for a second time near the Red Lion pub in West Street and asked for directions.

He then walked away between 10.30am and 11.10am on December 9.

The victim later discovered that her purse, which contained 700, had been stolen.

Another 500 was later withdrawn from her bank account at a cash machine in Portsmouth.

Now police hope releasing these CCTV images will help in tracking the suspects down.

PC Aby Smith said: 'We would urge everyone to take a close look at these new CCTV images of the two suspects and if you recognise them, or have any information which could help our investigation, please contact police as soon as possible - and help us prevent these people committing another horrible crime of this nature.'

As reported in The News, police from Portchester's Safer Neighbourhoods Team leapt into action after the crime was reported.

The team donated 212 collected during their Christmas carol concert held at Portchester Precinct on Friday to the victim.

The man is described as being Eastern European of Asian looking, aged 25 to 40 and wearing a black, leather-type jacket, black trousers and white shoes.

The woman is also described as being Eastern European or Asian and aged 25 to 40.

She wore a black, short sleeved jacket with a white, long sleeved top underneath, and a white, beret-type hat.

Anyone with information should contact PC Aby Smith at Park Gate police station on 101 or 0845 0454545.

Alternatively call the Crimestoppers charity anonymously on 0800 555111.