THIEVES watched an elderly woman with a walking frame for some time before stealing her handbag, police believe.

The victim, who is in her 80s, was left "extremely distressed" after the incident. She was shopping at M&Co in Crown Mead, Wimborne at around 12noon on Tuesday, October 15 when she was targeted.

Her bag had been stored in a little compartment in her wheeled walking frame. Her card was later used to withdraw £500. Some £240 was also spent in shops in Ringwood.

A further £500 in cash was also taken during the incident. The handbag had her house keys in it, as well as details of her address, which meant she had to change the locks at her house.

Police Community Support Investigator Kate Hann, of Dorset Police, said: “These cruel thieves have targeted an elderly woman and the whole ordeal has left her extremely distressed.

“It is believed the offenders may have been watching the victim for a period of time before taking the opportunity to steal her bag.

“We are determined to identify those responsible and are carrying out a detailed investigation into this offence.

“As part of our enquiries, we have obtained CCTV footage of three people we would like to speak to in connection with the incident. I would urge anyone who recognises them to please contact police.

“I would also urge shoppers to remain vigilant to avoid becoming victims of this type of offence.

“Make sure your bag is kept close and secured at all times and there are also items such as purse bells that can make it harder for thieves to steal items from your bag. For more crime prevention advice visit”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police via or by calling 101 quoting occurrence number 55190162880.