Police have released shocking CCTV footage of the moment an elderly woman was targeted on her doorstep by thieves.The two men pounced after following the 84-year-old victim home to her retirement complex. While one of them distracted her by asking for directions the other slipped his hand into her bag and snatched her purse.
They then walked away – with the elderly victim not realising she had been duped until after they left the scene.
They made off with £20 and the victim's bank card.
PC Fran Munro, who is leading the investigation, said: 'This is a despicable crime where suspects have preyed on an elderly woman.
Police believe the men spotted their victim on the street and followed her back to Homefayre House in Western Road, Fareham.
While one asked for directions to Fareham train station his accomplice pretended to cough as he took her purse, as pictured on the front page. Afterwards, the men walked away along Trinity Street.
As soon as the woman realised what had happened she cancelled her bank card and called the police.
Police have issued descriptions of the suspects they are hunting.
The man who pretended to cough and who took the purse from the woman was described as 50 to 55, with grey hair, of a stocky build and Asian-looking.
The man who distracted the woman by asking her for directions to the train station was thought to be 25 to 30, taller than the older man, also Asian and wearing dark clothing.
The incident happened at midday on Thursday, August 13. Anyone with information should contact PC Fran Munro at Park Gate police station on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Wednesday, 26 August 2009
From The Portsmouth News: