Police have warned Christmas shoppers to be on their guard after a string of purse thefts in Maldon’s supermarkets.

A handbag containing £8 in cash and a Motorola mobile phone was taken from a mobility scooter between 4.45pm and 7.15pm on November 14 and a purse with about £100 inside was removed from an open bag in a trolley between 9.50am and 10.30am the following day.

At about 5.30pm on November 17 a handbag containing £120 in cash, as well as a digital camera, glasses and other items worth about £180, was taken from a trolley while a shopper packed bags into her car.

Sgt Phil Morley said: “I would advise people to always keep a good eye on their handbags, purses and things, and not to leave them in their trolleys, especially at this time of year when there are a lot of people out Christmas shopping.”