A SIX year old girl was left in tears after her birthday money was stolen in a Southampton shop and management said they were unable to help.

Elizabeth Gell, six, from Stubbington was shopping with her grandmother Lin Gell in Primark in Above Bar Street when the incident took place.

The six year old had placed her purse which contained £20 in the shopping basket they were using before it was taken by a member of the public.

Lin said: "It's Elizabeth's birthday after half term so I took her to Primark as she had some early birthday money to spend.

"I didn't realise she had put the purse in the basket at first.

"When I asked her where it was when we got to the till it was no longer in the trolley.

"Elizabeth was really upset and started to cry and then a family approached us and said that their teenager daughter had seen who had taken the purse.

"She shouldn't have put it in the basket but she is only six.

The 62 year old added: "The teenage girl pointed out the individual out and the empty purse had been handed in to a member of staff.

"Although she pointed out who had taken the purse the manager got the security guard and they told me that nothing could be done as the CCTV in that part of the shop was not working ."

Lin added: "What is the point of having cameras if they do not work, I'm really cross."

Louise Gell, Elizabeth's mum said: "I'm quite shocked Primark can't do anything about this as there was a witness."

A Primark spokesperson said:“We confirm that a purse was handed in to Lost Property at our Southampton store and later claimed by a customer.

"Primark takes these matters very seriously and we are confident that our high procedural standards were met in investigating the incident.”

A spokesperson from Hampshire Police said: "It was reported that £20 was stolen from a purse which had been placed in a basket in Primark on Above Bar Street.

"This took place yesterday morning, February 19.

"Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101, quoting 44190061541."