POLICE have launched a witnesses appeal after thieves stole an elderly woman's purse in Dibden.

The 81-year-old woman was shopping in Tesco store, Sizer Way when she noticed her purse missing from her bag.

It contained a bank card, money and sentimental items including obituaries for two of her children and a photo of her grandson.

Officers are now appealing for information following the incident which happened at around 12pm on Thursday, December 5.

The purse is described as a black leather purse, rectangular and with a zip and a popper in the middle.

A police spokesperson said: "If you witnessed anyone acting suspiciously in Tesco around this time, have seen an abandoned purse in the area or have any information, please contact us on 101 quoting 44190437350.

"Alternatively, people can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, where information can be left anonymously."

Police are warning Hampshire residents to be extra vigilant during the Christmas period.

They advise keeping purses and bags closed and secure at all times.

They also warn residents to return their cards to their purse or wallet quickly and to use a money belt if carrying a significant quantity of cash.