A pensioner from Dover has been left devastated after her purse containing pictures and notes from her late husband was stolen.
Gwen Jones, 83, of Trefor Jones Court, had her purse stolen from Marks and Spencer in Dover.
A woman wearing a grey poncho was standing next to Mrs Jones when she pointed at something on the shelf and the pensioner reached to pass it to her.
While her back was turned, she claims the woman unzipped her bag, swiped her purse and left.
Mrs Jones, a retired traffic warden, said: “It’s the personal things inside it rather than money. There were photos of my late husband from when I first met him and little I love you notes, and a card with All I Want Is You printed on it - that’s all gone now. I’m more hurt about that.”
Her husband Frank Edward Jones died 16 years ago. He was a former caretaker at the Duke of York’s Royal Military School and the couple used to live there for many years before he died and Mrs Jones suffered a heart attack.
She lost £60 in cash and £10 worth of stamps as well as the irreplaceable pictures from her crocodile skin purse.
Although it has been two weeks since it happened, she still hopes that the purse itself might be found somewhere in the town, so that she might be reunited with the pictures and notes.
"There were photos of my late husband from when I first met him and little I love you notes, and a card with All I Want Is You printed on it - that’s all gone now. I’m more hurt about that.” - Mrs Jones
She said: “I was face to face with her. It makes me feel cross that I didn’t even realise it was happening.
“I’m upset I lost that amount of money - I can’t afford it. She probably has more money than me.
“It’s just so unnerving when it happens to you.”
She has been given a safety catch for her handbag from officers and said she is now being more vigilant.
Police are now appealing for witnesses but unfortunately, CCTV cameras inside the store in Biggin Street didn’t cover the area where it happened.
The theft is reported to have taken place between 1.30pm and 2.30pm on Thursday, May 5.
A police spokesman said: “The victim, who is in her 80s, was asked to get something from a shelf by a woman in her early 20s. “Afterwards she realised her purse was missing from her handbag. The suspect is described as aged 21 or 22, with dark hair and a foreign accent.
“She was 5ft 2in/3in tall and was wearing a grey knitted poncho.”
Anyone with information is asked to phone police on 01843 222289 quoting reference ZY/15154/16.