THE North Devon community has come together after a 90-year-old woman had her handbag stolen in Bideford before Christmas.

Devon & Cornwall Police are appealing for witness to what they describe as a ‘distraction theft’ after the elderly lady was approached by four men as she loaded shopping into her car.

The incident happened between 2:30-3:30pm in Tesco Car Park, Manteo Way in Bideford on Monday, December 17.

It was not until the elderly women had gotten home that she realised her handbag was missing and which contained cash and other personal items.

Since then she has received a food hamper and vouchers to help replace what was stolen.

PC Craig Darby said: “We are appealing for witnesses and want to hear from anyone who can help us identify the culprits of this distraction theft. If you know who was responsible or was in the area at the time, please contact the police.

“This crime has targeted a vulnerable lady, but the community has come together to help her following this theft. Due to the time of the year and the massive impact that this crime has had on the victim, the Devon and Cornwall Peelers fund has kindly donated a food hamper and has obtained vouchers to the value of £50 from Banbury’s Barnstaple to assist the victim replace the stolen handbag.

“Further to this, the victim had mentioned to Police that the cash she had on her at the time, she had saved for a new mattress to which Braddicks of Bideford have also made a kind gesture towards the victim.”

If you have any information please phone 101 or email  or contact Bideford Police via our Facebook Page and quote CR/116569/18.  If you wish to contact us anonymously, phone Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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