CCTV shows thief stealing purse from elderly shopper

Sussex Police have released this video showing how unwary shoppers can become victims of thieves.

The video shows a man, suspected of being one of a group of purse thieves at supermarkets across Sussex, stealing from a shopper in Waitrose at Hailsham.

The CCTV footage shown shows the suspect watching the 78-year-old victim at the till.  He watches her enter her PIN and then as she leaves the store he brazenly steals her purse from her handbag.

The suspect is bald, wearing a white shirt and dark blue jeans, white trainers and is carrying a white carrier bag.  He is also wearing a watch on his left wrist.  He targets the victim, watches her, then moves to another position and sits down. He then stands to move closer to the victim and watches her enter her PIN, getting his phone out and typing the number in to store it.  He then follows the victim out of the store, at which point the theft occurs when he bumps into her and leaves with her purse.

Police would also like to talk to a second man present, who is also pictured, and who they think may be involved.  He has dark hair and was wearing a blue T-shirt.

The cards stolen in this theft were then used at various locations nearby, and the victim lost £2,000.

There have now been 19 confirmed reports in Sussex, including two in Crowborough over the past 12 months.  A total of £29,000, has been lost, although it is thought highly likely that there are more such thefts which have not been linked to this series.

Anyone who recognises the men or who has any further information is asked to contact Sussex Police online or call 101, quoting reference 47170066290.

If you see anyone behaving suspiciously in this way, alert store security staff or dial 999.

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