A PENSIONER had her purse, containing £80, stolen while shopping in Redditch town centre.

Police are warning residents to be on their guard following a recent spate of handbag and purse thefts.

The 70-year-old woman had her purse taken from the bag on top of her shopping trolley during a visit to the Kingfisher Centre last Monday between 11am-1pm.

On the same day, a bag was taken from beside a table at the MV caf in Church Green East.

It belonged to a teenage girl and contained £40 cash, make-up and gloves.

And then last Tuesday, a 52-year-old woman was hurt when her bag was stolen in Mill Street, close to Redditch town centre.

She was walking along the road just before 5pm when an orange-coloured car, possibly a Ford Fiesta, pulled alongside her.

The occupants of the car asked the woman for directions to the railway station and as she explained, they grabbed at her bag and drove.

She was pulled to the ground where she suffered injuries to her knees and banged her head.

She did not need hospital treatment but was very shaken by the incident.

The car was driven off towards Batchley.

The offenders are described as being white youths, aged between 14 and 17.

One was wearing a light coloured top and had short dark hair and a faint moustache.

DC Josie Evans, of Redditch police, said: "This was a nasty attack on a woman who believed that she was simply helping out."

Anyone with information about any of the incidents is asked to call police on 08457 444 888 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.