Two teenagers have been arrested following a "cowardly " robbery of a 98-year-old woman in Morrinsville yesterday.

Sergeant Mark Toomey of the Morrinsville Police said the incident happened about 11am.

"A 98-year-old had gone down to the local supermarket to buy some Christmas mince pies and was on her way home when two 16-year-old males began following her.

"When she got to her home by the corner of Lear and Anderson Streets, she tucked her purse under her arm and went to check her mail box. As she bent over the offenders struck, grabbing her purse and running down the road."


Mr Toomey said a number of people saw the woman in distress and came to her aid.

"When they found out what had happened that was it, one 48-year-old man pursued the offenders on his pushbike and apprehended one offender while others relayed descriptions and direction of travel to responding police via the 111 phone service."

Police arrived and arrested the first boy, and found the second soon after, Mr Toomey said.

"Though one offender made a full and frank confession the other is still being interviewed. We recovered the money taken from the lady but so far we have been unable to locate her purse."

Both offenders are due to appear in the Morrinsville Youth Court on theft charges on Friday.

Mr Toomey said police were pleased but not really surprised by the Morrinsville public's reaction to what happened.

"I think most people would be appalled at an attack on a 98-year-old woman and want to take action," he said.

"In this case that action is exactly what we ask for, the quick and accurate passing of information to Police that allows us to take action, it just goes to show that by working together we can make our communities safer places to live by showing this type of behaviour won't be tolerated."