A WOMAN was left bereft after a purse dipper stole a lock of her late mother's hair.

Police said the victim, 40s, had been shopping in either Shoezone or Peacocks in Swindon town centre when the cream-coloured Radley purse containing the precious momento was stolen from her handbag. It happened on Saturday, January 25, between 11.10am and 11.30am.

In a witness appeal, PC Jamie Brown said: “This theft has had a huge impact on the victim, largely because she has recently lost her mother and a lock of her mother’s hair was inside the purse.

“The purse also had bank cards in, which the thief has used to withdraw money.

“We know it would have been busy in Swindon town centre on Saturday and we are carrying out detailed enquiries, but we are issuing this appeal in the hope that someone will know something which could assist our enquiries.

“Perhaps the purse has been dumped somewhere after the thief took the bank cards and the money out of it?"

Anyone with information is asked to call Wiltshire Police on 101.