A THIEF has been targeting wedding guests at a Guisborough church.

A woman's handbag was stolen from inside St Nicholas Church after a wedding ceremony, while purses and bags were taken from members of the congregation in the priory grounds, a popular spot for couples to have their wedding photographs taken.

The Rev Phillip Bishop said a thief was taking advantage of people at a time when they were enjoying themselves and their attention was distracted.

Earlier in the year a burglar broke into the church through a stained glass window and stole a donations box.

A spokeswoman for Cleveland police said: "We have only had one report of theft of a purse from the church this year and enquiries are on-going into the incident."

Break-ins to vehicles in the area near the church had been reported, she said, and urged anyone experiencing problems of this nature to call (01642) 326326.