Police have urged shoppers to be vigilant after purse-snatchers targeted a number of supermarkets.
An 81-year-old woman became the latest to fall victim to the thieves when her purse was stolen as she shopped in Morrison’s in Staveley near Chesterfield.
She is the eighth shopper in three months to have their purses taken in the store.
Thirteen people in total have fallen prey to purse thieves in Chesterfield supermarkets since the beginning of June.
Three incidents were reported at Morrison’s in Brampton, as well as one each at Tesco Extra and Sainsbury’s.
Derbyshire Police are now giving out free purse chains to protect shoppers’ valuables and are warning people never to leave handbags unattended.
Inspector Steve Ball, the force’s chief in the Chesterfield borough, said: “We are visiting local supermarkets and working with staff to keep stores safe but we want to remind shoppers to make sure they are alert.
“Thieves are often opportunistic so you can reduce your chances of being targeted by not leaving handbags unattended and by keeping bags fastened and worn across your body rather than over your shoulder, so they are closer to you.”
Anyone with information about the incidents should contact Derbyshire police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
To receive a free purse chain contact your local Safer Neighbourhood policing team by calling non-emergency number 101 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org