Thieves have targeted pensioners when shopping, Essex Police have confirmed.
Police are urging elderly shoppers in the north of the county to be vigilant after a spate of thefts in Halstead during the last six weeks.
Criminals have reportedly been waiting in shopping centres, looking for elderly victims.
In May, there were five cases of pensioners having their purses stolen.
These included criminals unzipping handbags and stealing purses while the victims were distracted.
Call police on 101.