Police are urging people to be vigilant after a spate of thieves targetting ladies shopping in Braintree.

Last Thursday between 2.15pm and 2.45pm, a woman had her purse stolen from her handbag, which she had placed in a trolley whilst she was shopping in Rayne Road.

The purse and contents were worth £66.

On the same day at 1.30pm, another woman had her purse and the contents of it, worth £24, removed from her handbag whilst it was on a trolley in Market Place, Braintree.

Between 11am and 12 noon also last Thursday, a woman shopping on Braintree Road, Witham, had her purse removed from her bag.

The purse and contents amounted to £52.

This follows two similar instances in Braintree where women who were shopping had their purses pinched.

Witnesses are asked to call police on 101.