TWO pensioners have been left extremely distressed after more than £200 was stolen from their purses during a theft at the Roman Way retail park in Droitwich.
The elderly friends, one aged 91 and the other 84, had been shopping in Aldi on Thursday, April 24, when they were targeted by thieves who stole a total of £248 from their purses.
Police have now released images of three people they want to trace in relation to the incident, which happened at about 2.30pm.
The victims were first approached by two of the suspects, a man and a woman, who assisted them with packing their bags and moving their items around.
The friends then went out to the car park with their shopping and were met by the same man and woman along with another man who insisted on helping them get their shopping into the car.
PC Duncan Jones of West Mercia Police said: "The three people were moving the items of shopping around and putting them into and taking them out of carrier bags, confusing the two elderly women.
"The female offender in particular was described as very persistent.
"The elderly women thanked them for their help and it was only after returning the trolley to the store that they realised their purses had been stolen, by which time there was no sign of the offenders.
"The purse of the 91-year-old contained £158 and the purse of the 84-year-old contained £90, and both have been extremely distressed by the incident."
All three suspects are described as white but slightly dark skinned and speaking poor English. They are believed to be Eastern Europeans.
The first man was described as nearly 6ft tall, with dark short hair, wearing a black leather-look jacket and lighter coloured trousers. The second man was wearing dark clothing. The woman had dark hair in a bun and was wearing black trousers and black top covered by a lighter coloured anorak and silky scarf.
Anyone with information about purse thefts should call 101 quoting incident 322-s-240414 or ring the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.