Police have released CCTV images after a purse was stolen from an elderly woman visiting a charity shop in Weymouth.

It happened at the British Heart Foundation store in St Mary Street.

The victim, an 88-year-old woman who was visiting Weymouth on holiday, was at the charity shop when her purse, which contained her bank cards and PIN number, was stolen from her bag.

The cards were subsequently used to make a number of cash withdrawals and transactions totalling around £2,000.

PC Connor Lombardo, of Weymouth police, said: “We have been carrying out enquiries into this incident and I am now in a position to issue CCTV images showing two people believed to be using the stolen bank cards.

“I appreciate the images may not be of the best quality, but I am hoping someone is able to recognise the people pictured and would urge anyone with information as to their identity to contact me.

“We would also urge members of the public to keep your bags secure while you are out shopping and never keep your PIN in your purse or wallet.”

Erica Andrews, Manager of the British Heart Foundation store in Weymouth, said: “It’s quite shocking that this happened, but thefts occur at the shop regularly. It’s a horrible incident, and the way it was done must have been a planned attack.

“I hope the woman is ok. The fact she was visiting the town doesn’t sit well for Weymouth.”

Mayor of Weymouth and Portland Gill Taylor has condemned the theft and fraud.

She said: It’s absolutely appealing, really awful. I am so sorry this has happened, and I hope she’s alright and send her my best wishes.

“By far the vast majority of people in Weymouth and Portland are honest wonderful people and it’s these one or two who spoil it and do nothing for our town’s reputation. I hope police catch those responsible. For this to happen to a visitor is appalling.”

The theft happened between 10.30am and 11.15am on Saturday, September 29.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Dorset Police quoting occurrence number 55180158095.