THE CONSTABLE hunting for a man accused of taking a 97-year-old woman's purse branded the crime despicable.

Wiltshire Police released a CCTV image of the man suspected of taking the purse while the pensioner shopped in the Post Office on Whitbourne Avenue, Park South, last month.

PC Nici Pearce said: “This was a despicable offence against a vulnerable elderly lady; the unknown offender took advantage of the situation and while our victim was talking in the Post Office and distracted, stole her money and cards.

“We are really keen to identify the man in the CCTV image and speak to him in relation to this theft.

“Incidents like these can really impact on an individual and how they go about their daily lives. I would urge anyone who is out and about shopping to be mindful of their personal security, and take steps to ensure purses are securely fastened within handbags, and consider the use of purse straps to make it as difficult as possible for thieves."

The theft happened at around 10am on Saturday, January 25.

The stolen purse contained the woman's cash, bank, gas and electricity cards.

Anyone with information should call Wiltshire Police on 101.