An elderly woman was targeted by an “organised” pair of thieves in a High Wycombe supermarket who watched her withdraw cash before stealing from her.

The 79-year-old was shopping in Sainsbury’s in Oxford Road when she had her purse – containing cash and bank cards – stolen from her.

The pensioner’s son – who did not want to be named because his elderly mother feels “embarrassed” by the theft, which happened on January 11 – now wants to warn others to be vigilant while shopping, fearing organised gangs are targeting vulnerable shoppers.

Describing how the theft happened, he said: “Two men watched her withdraw money, one of them distracted her while another stole her handbag.

“One of the men asked her to look at a tube of glue, asking her if it would be suitable, while someone else was robbing her.

“They were standing by the cash point and saw her withdraw money. It seems like they were organised criminals.

“My mum feels stupid and embarrassed, but they are preying on people who are elderly and vulnerable. It seems to be mainly older ladies because they often put their handbags in the shopping trolley. They didn’t take her bag because it was clipped to the trolley.

“People need to be made aware that this sort of thing is going on in major supermarkets. Security guards are limited in what they can do.”

Thames Valley Police confirmed officers are investigating a theft that happened at around 12.30pm but no arrests have yet been made.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the Thames Valley Police non-emergency number on 101.

When out and about, police advice suggests keeping your purse, wallet, money and valuables out of sight and keeping bags closed, zipped and buckled.

Shoppers should wear bags across their chest, so it cannot be pulled from their shoulder, never leave bags unattended and only carry the amount of money needed.