an elderly woman had her purse stolen from a bag in a shopping trolley while in a charity shop in Blyth.
The 67-year-old was targeted by an opportunist thief after leaving her trolley unattended for a moment while in the British Heart Foundation charity shop in Regent Street between 11.30am and 11.50am on Tuesday last week.
The thief then made off unseen, and the woman only noticed that her purse was missing later.
Inspector Trevor Oakley, of Blyth neighbourhood policing team, said: “This is a callous and cowardly crime. Stealing a purse from an elderly woman in a charity shop is about as low as it gets.
“I’d urge anyone with any information about this theft to contact police. There is no place in our community for anyone who thinks this kind of behaviour is acceptable.”
Officers are making inquiries in the town centre, studying CCTV footage and speaking to nearby shopkeepers in a bid to track down the culprit.
The neighbourhood policing team is also distributing purse bells to shops to give out to customers.
The bells, to be attached to purses or handbags, are intended to act as a deterrent to would-be thieves.
Anyone with any information about the purse theft is asked call the police on 101 ext 69191.