POLICE are hunting a sneaky thief who swiped handbags from two shoppers at two different Irvine supermarkets on the same day.

Two women had their handbags stolen whilst doing their shopping on Friday, September 27.

The first victim was targeted at around 3pm and 3.45pm on Friday.

The 68-year-old woman who was loading her shopping in to her car within the car park at Aldi supermarket on East Road had her handbag stolen, her bankcards where then used twice in local shops.

At 4.10pm a 57-year-old woman was shopping in Tesco, Riverway Retail Park when her handbag was stolen from her trolley. Store security at this time recovered the handbag and its contents but the person responsible managed to get away.

Constable Johnson of Irvine Police Office said, "It does appear that these women were targeted in these thefts. Cash, personal bank cards, and other personal items were all taken in the thefts. We are reviewing CCTV footage from the store in an effort to identify those responsible.”

"The male suspect involved in the Tesco theft is described as being in his 40s, tall, and slim. He was wearing black jacket, black trousers and a red baseball cap.”

"We are keen to hear from anyone who may have been in either of these stores on Friday afternoon and who may have seen or heard anything suspicious. Callers can contact police on 101 number quoting incidents 2833/27 (Aldi) or 2591/27 (Tesco).”

"We are also reminding the public about taking care of their valuables in general when out and about shopping. Often it is all too easily to get distracted with the actual shopping, and not on what is going on around us, particularly in some of our larger and busier stores."