An elderly woman's shopping outing in Napier ended with her being left shaken and without her bag after a teenage thief on a bike targeted her.
Hawke's Bay police were left disgusted by the youth's brazen strike, which happened about 4.15pm on Monday in lower Dickens St, and issued a warning that opportunist thieves often strike at this time of year as people shop for Christmas.
"This is an unfortunate reminder for people to keep their purses and handbags close to them and be wary there are opportunists out there," Eastern Region communications manager Kris McGehan said.
The 71-year-old woman, who uses a walking stick to help her get around, was approached by the youth who cycled past, grabbing her blue bag from her hand before quickly riding off.
The woman was left "very shaken" by the incident.
The youth was described as around 15 and wearing black clothing and a red cap.
He appeared to have an associate with him, also on a bike and wearing a white hooded top.
She saw the youth ride off through Clive Square towards Carlyle St.
The woman had money and personal belongings in the bag.
People from nearby businesses assisted the woman and called police after she sought help.
Police said it was likely the youths had been cycling around the central city area during the afternoon and have appealed for any sightings of the pair, especially in the Dickens St area around 4pm onwards.
Anyone with information about the incident, or the offender, can contact Napier Police on 831 0700 or leave the information anonymously on Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.