POLICE are appealing for witnesses after heartless thieves robbed an elderly woman in a Malvern store in a crime described as "despicable".

A CCTV image shows the two thieves stooping down to take the woman’s bag while she was looking at items on a shelf in the Morrisons supermarket, before they then left the store.

The image of the offence against the woman, who was said to be in her 80s, was shared widely on Facebook following the theft at the store in Roman Way on Monday (November 19) morning.

Describing the CCTV image, the person who posted the picture on Facebook wrote: “These two stole a handbag off a lady in her 80’s this morning at Morrisons Malvern. Share, name and shame please.”

Staff from the store confirmed police were called after the theft and took statements from witnesses at the scene.

As well as sharing the post, social media users shared their disgust.

Angela Leaver wrote: “This really isn’t right.”

Kate Hindley added: “How awful.”

Malvern-based PCSO Kevin Youds, of West Mercia Police, told the Gazette: "This is a despicable crime which will have caused a lot of distress to the victim.

"I'd like to reassure the public that we patrol the area regularly and will be increasing patrols in the run up to Christmas.

"Please remain vigilant and keep your personal belongings such as purses and wallets out of sight at all times.

"We are committed to identifying and dealing with these offenders."

Anyone with any information on the theft is asked to call police on 101 quoting incident number 191s of November 19.