STOURBRIDGE police have released CCTV images of two women they want to trace in connection with a series of handbag thefts in the town.

Two snatches took place at Waitrose supermarket in the Ryemarket shopping centre and one in the PDSA charity shop.

The two in Waitrose happened at around 11.20am on Tuesday September 18 and just after 11am on Wednesday September 26.

Both customers, one of whom was in her late 70s, had placed their handbags in the baby seat area of a shopping trolley and while briefly leaving the trolley unattended their bags were snatched.

The third theft also took place last Wednesday in the PDSA charity shop - outside the Ryemarket.

Officers believe all three crimes are linked and they now want to trace two women caught on CCTV at Waitrose and at Stourbridge Bus Station where they were seen boarding the number 256 bus to Wolverhampton.

Police Constable Nicola Moore, of the Wollaston and Stourbridge Town neighbourhood policing team, said: “We want to speak to these women in connection with the offences, so any information which leads to their identification would be welcomed.

“We don’t get many reports of handbag thefts in the town centre, but that’s not to say people shouldn’t be on their guard while out shopping by securing belongings, keeping shopping bags, hand bags and wallets close to them and out of sight.”

Anyone who recognises the two women in the CCTV images is asked to call PC Moore on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.