A pensioner attending a Sunday morning church service in Whitby had her purse stolen by a fellow worshipper.
The 87 year old woman had left her handbag unattended for just a few moments while she left the room following the service at Flowergate Church.
Police say, the suspect, a male who had attended the church service then rummaged through her handbag and removed the purse from within it before leaving the church.
It was found a short while later on the church steps but a quantity of cash had been stolen from it.
Whitby police is now investigating and say they would like the public’s help to help determine the full circumstances surrounding the incident.
It is thought the theft occurred sometime between 10.05am and 10.25am on Sunday January 4.
In particular, they want to hear from anyone who has information or may be able to identify the person responsible and from anyone who saw a male on the steps of The Flowergate church around those times in possession of a purse.
The suspect has been described as a white male of slim build aged in his 30s. He is described as being between 5 foot 8 and 5 foot 11 in height with short brown hair and a gold hoop in one ear. He was wearing a black and white jacket and had carrier bags in his hands when he left the church.
Anyone with information that could assist the investigation should contact us on 101, select option 2, and ask for Nicola Knowles. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you wish to remain anonymous, you can pass information to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Please quote the North Yorkshire Police reference number 12150001843.