Police in Hedge End are appealing for witnesses following a report that a woman’s handbag was taken from her after she fainted in a shop and was being treated by staff and customers.
It happened in the Marks and Spencer store at Hedge End Retail Park on Friday, July 22 between 2pm and 2.15pm.
A 52-year-old woman had been walking through the store when she fainted and fell to the floor.
It is believed she was aided at first by two other customers before shop staff and more customers came over to assist.
The woman did not sustain any injuries but, once she had recovered, realised that her black leather satchel bag was missing.
The bag contained an undisclosed amount of cash, a leather purse containing bank cards, a white Apple iPhone, family photographs and a small leather box containing a diamond ring which is believed to be worth around £4,000.
It also contained the woman’s emergency medication and emergency medical cards to alert paramedics to a specific medical condition.
PC Andy Laverick, of Hedge End police station, said:
“Police would like to hear from anyone who saw this incident take place or who may have seen anyone leaving the store with a large black leather satchel handbag.
“This is an appalling crime, where a woman’s handbag has been taken from her while she had been taken unwell and while others were trying to help her.
"Whoever took the bag must have known what they were doing and took this as an opportunity to steal from
a vulnerable adult.
"We would ask anyone who has any information which could help us to identify whoever is responsible to contact us.”
Anyone with any information is asked to contact PC Andy Laverick at Hedge End police station on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, where information can be left anonymously.