A VULNERABLE woman in her 90s was robbed of hundreds of pounds when she answered the door to a thug who pushed past her and snatched her purse.

The victim, who lives in Prince Philip Road, Colchester, answered a knock at her door between 9am and 10.30am yesterday.

The thief barged past her and stole cash from a purse sitting on a nearby work surface.

Neighbour and ward councillor Dave Harris hopes footage captured by his CCTV cameras will help to catch the culprit.

“He robbed her purse and got away with a fair bit of money, I am told hundreds of pounds,” he said.

“She had to go around to her neighbours and call a friend who then told the police.

“The police are with her now and I will see them later to hand over my security camera footage, hopefully it covers that area.

“I think there is a message here that people really need to use their security chain when there’s a knock at the door, especially if they are vulnerable.”

He added: “There is clearly someone around who is taking advantage in this way so it is so important that people are aware.

“Unfortunately she couldn’t give the police much to go on as she didn’t get a good look at him.

“I thought the very least I need to do is let other people know and put out a warning.

“She has opened the door to see who it is - I don’t know whether she was expecting a parcel or something like that - and this person has pushed past her.”

Mr Harris, who has lived in the road for around 30 years, said this kind of crime was uncommon in the area.

“She is in her 90s, I have known her for a long time,” he said.

“She is a very nice lady who keeps herself to herself.

“It is a shock.

“Nothing like this has happened here in the past as far as I can recall. We have had burglaries and petty crime but this is more worrying.

“People now need to be prepared for this kind of thing, even if you think you know who will be behind the door before you open it.”

Anyone with information can contact the police on 101.