Thieves who distracted a great-grandmother in her local post office and allegedly stole her purse have been ‘shamed’ on social media.

The 88-year-old, who does not wish to be named, was approached by a woman asking her questions about a shampoo while a man allegedly helped himself to her purse containing a post office bank card, bus pass and paperwork.

The pair were caught on CCTV in Braintree post office shortly before 1.20pm on July 18 and the woman’s son-in-law Mike Simmons took it upon himself to share the picture with friends.

Mr Simmons, 52, an IT consultant of Notley Road, asked the post office for a still from the footage and is pleased to see it has been shared over 200 times on Facebook since July 23.

* For the full story, see this week's Braintree and Witham Times.