Tayside and Central Scotland

Appeal after 'despicable' thief targets Stirling pensioner

Police are hunting a "despicable" thief who targeted a woman in her 90s after following her to her home in Stirling.

The pensioner was followed onto a bus by a woman and later discovered her handbag had been stolen from her house.

The thief is believed to be aged between 21 and 40 with an Eastern European accent.

Police described the incident, on the morning of 3 March, as "a truly despicable crime against a vulnerable woman".

Officers said the woman was shopping at about 10:30 when she became aware of a female in Poundland in the Thistles Shopping Centre.

Her suspicions were raised after the unknown female appeared to deliberately stand very close to her.

The pensioner boarded a bus and made her way home but, as she took her seat, she noticed the same woman get on board.

After disembarking on Easter Cornton Road, the pensioner walked home and was moving her recycling bins when she again became aware of the suspect.

The woman asked her for directions to a nearby bus stop before leaving along Dunster Road. heading in the direction of the town centre

The pensioner returned inside her home and discovered that her handbag and its contents had been stolen.

'Truly despicable'

The suspect is described as between 21 and 40 years of age, with long dark hair, and wearing a black and white jacket.

Officers also want to trace a man who was seen in the area and described as an older male with a flat cap.

Insp Donna Bryan said: "This was a truly despicable crime against a vulnerable woman who had been in the town enjoying a shopping trip.

"An investigation into this matter is now underway and from the information gathered so far it would certainly appear that the female suspect had targeted this woman.

"We are currently reviewing the local CCTV network and carrying out door-to-door inquiries in an effort to trace her and ensure she is swiftly arrested.

"Such crimes are thankfully rare and very unusual, however, I'm extremely keen to hear from anyone who can help identify the woman or who have any information pertinent to our inquiries."

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