Police have issued a warning about thieves operating in Rotherham following four bag thefts in the town centre.
Extra police patrols have been ordered in a bid to deter the thieves.
Inspector Martyn Sheldon, who leads Rotherham’s town centre Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “These offences are happening later in the day, when the light fades and there are fewer people around.
“Whereas purse thefts are often carried out while the victim is unaware, handbag thefts can be a lot more noticeable and on occasion, can be quite forceful.
“I’d urge people shopping in town in the evenings to take care with their belongings. Please try, wherever possible, to avoid carrying large sums of money and only carry the valuables you need.”