Woman, 85, tells of shock after being targeted in daylight handbag theft in Portsmouth

Laburnam Grove, which links North End and Copnor. Picture: Google Street View
Laburnam Grove, which links North End and Copnor. Picture: Google Street View
A topping out ceremony was held for the new police investigation centre in Portsmouth. (L to R) James Payne, Police and Crime Commissioner's chief executive, Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney and PCC Michael Lane.

Ceremony held to mark next phase of construction for Portsmouth police centre

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AN ELDERLY woman has told of the frightening moment her handbag was stolen in broad daylight.

Sheila Wright, 85, was left shaken after a thief made off with her belongings as she stood outside her granddaughter’s home.

She was waiting to enter the home in Laburnam Grove, at about 1.30pm on Saturday, when she felt someone tap on her shoulder.

A former resident of the road linking North End and Copnor, she said she ‘assumed it would be someone she knew’ – but was left distraught when she was faced by a man who grabbed her bag and ran.

Recalling the incident, the pensioner, from Cosham, who was waiting outside with her son, said: ‘We were in the front garden, facing the door and all of a sudden someone tapped me on the shoulder.

‘Because I used to live down Laburnam Grove I assumed it would be someone I knew, because I have family and friends there, but at the same time somebody was taking my bag out of my hand.

‘My son tried to gallop after him but he recently broke his arm.’

While the bag was found near Kensington Road, the purse is still missing, and with it bank cards, cash, stamps and a bus pass.

Now, she says, she is forced to ‘relive’ the ordeal at night, and has joined Hampshire Constabulary in the bid to track down her purse.

She said: ‘I’m having bad nights because I keep waking up and re-living it. My family is upset.

‘I can’t believe it happened in broad daylight.’

As they carry out their investigations, police are appealing for the driver of a white van who came to Ms Wright’s aid after the incident to come forward.

‘I’m very grateful for what he did,’ she said.

Anyone with information on the incident should call 101, quoting the crime reference number 44180214742.