POLICE are hunting a middle aged man who stole an elderly woman’s handbag.

It happened at 10am today (Wednesday, February 12) in the rear lane of Stockton Terrace, Sunderland.

A man approached a 78-year-old woman and asked her for help, claiming his vehicle had broken down. The woman stopped to help and put her handbag down on the ground and the offender grabbed it and drove off in a grey car.

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The man is described as in his 50s with greying hair and wearing navy and grey tracksuit bottoms. Police are appealing for witnesses anyone who was in the area and who may have seen or heard anything suspicious is asked to contact them. Anyone with information should contact police on 101, extension 69191, quoting log number 278 of 12/02/14 or ring the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.