Thieves have targeted five elderly shoppers in the Braintree district in the space of a month.
Police officers are urging pensioners to be on the look out when shopping after thieves, believed to be eastern Europeans, have been spotted lurking in town centre shops, deliberately preying on the elderly.
Five elderly pensioners shopping in Braintree, Witham and Halstead have all had their purses stolen in May.
Police officers are urging elderly shoppers to be on the look out after the thieves seem to be targeting people who are older.
See this week's Halstead Gazette for the full story.