Pickpockets caught on video stealing pensioner's £1,000 savings from handbag

CCTV of a pensioner having £1,000 of savings pickpocketed from her handbag in a shopping centre lift has been released by police.

The 69-year-old victim withdrew the cash from her account at Lloyds Bank in Ilford, east London, on July 26, the Metropolitan Police said.

She entered a lift in the Exchange Shopping Mall on High Road at 11.50am, tailed by two men and a woman, as she went to her daughter's car in the car park.

Footage shows the two men diverting her attention by pressing a different floor button and then striking up a conversation about the buttons pressed.

Meanwhile, the woman slinks behind the pensioner, initially aborting an effort to reach into her bag before swooping again moments later.

The female suspect rummages through her belongings for several seconds before the group exit the lift together.

The victim did not realise anything had been taken until she was in the car.

Detectives issued the footage and a set of descriptions in a bid to snare the suspects.

The woman is white, in her 40s, with long dyed white hair, police said. She was pictured wearing a black leather jacket over a black and white chequered top, along with bleached blue jeans with holes in the knees, and black shoes.

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Both male suspects were said to be Eastern European men, one in his 40s, the other in his 30s.

The older man had receding short dark hair and wore a grey suit jacket over a black top, blue jeans and blue trainers with white soles, along with black rimmed glasses on his head, police said.

The younger man had short black hair and wore a green jacket, blue jeans and blue trainers with white laces.

Pc Carl Repper said: "We are appealing for any information as to the identity of these three suspects. The victim has lost a large amount of her savings as a result of her ordeal."

Anyone with information is asked to contact East Area Command via 101 or by tweeting @MetCC.

To give information anonymously they can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit crimestoppers-uk.org