Free purse bells are being given to shoppers in Leicester in a bid to reduce thefts.
There were 30 purse thefts reported to Leicestershire police in October with 13 of them in one week.
Most of the victims were women aged between 50 and 82 years old, police said.
The thefts took place in Leicester market, Granby Street, Humberstone Gate and Gallowtree Gate.
Officers are increasing patrols in the city centre and working with CCTV operators to deter further thefts.
Police are handing out free purse bells and chains to vulnerable shoppers such as the elderly and mothers with prams or pushchairs who can be easily distracted.
The chain can be used to attach a purse to a handbag to make it more difficult to steal.
More than 1,000 purse chains and bells have been purchased by the city's Joint Action Group (JAG) composed of police, businesses and resident groups.