Shoppers are being urged to step up their security following a spate of purse thefts in Sheffield city centre.
The advice was issued following three thefts from shoppers targeted on The Moor on Tuesday.
A 91-year-old woman was one of those who had her purse stolen from her handbag between 1pm and 4pm that day.
Between 3.30pm and 3.45pm a 43-year-old man had a wallet containing cash stolen from a satchel and 34-year-old woman had her purse taken between 3pm and 3.20pm.
Safer Neighbourhood Inspector Neil Mutch said: “In previous years we have seen an increase in this type of crime in the run up to Christmas and we don’t want to see that increase again this year.
“During this busy period people often carry more money and are less vigilant - this is ideal for opportunist thieves to commit their crimes.
“Don’t give them that opportunity. By taking a few simple steps you can greatly reduce the risk of becoming a victim of this type of crime.”
Officers are urging people to carry bags close to them, to keep them zipped up and to make sure that wallets or purses can’t be seen.
They are also urging shoppers against carrying large amounts of cash and not to leave bags on the backs of seats in pubs and restaurants.
Anyone with information should call South Yorkshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.