A WHEELCHAIR-bound pensioner has hit out at callous thieves who snatched her purse while she was out shopping.

Sue Longcroft, 63, is only well enough to venture out of her house once a week after the left half her body was paralysed following a stroke five years ago.

But when she headed on a shopping trip flanked by a carer on Wednesday, an opportunistic criminal dipped into her handbag and stole her purse which contained close to £200 in cash.

Mrs Longcroft was planning to spend the money on new glasses which she desperately needs to aid her failing sight.

The pensioner believes the purse was nabbed while she was in Shoe Zone in Pier Avenue, Clacton, between noon and 1pm.

She said: “I was in the shop looking at some shoes.

“There was a man who was leaning over me.

“My bag was on the back of my chair and because I am paralysed I cannot feel that part of my back.

“It was only when we went to another shop across the road and we went to pay for something that we noticed it was gone.

“My carer said we must have left it behind so went back but could not find it anywhere.

“She called the police and they told us to check all the rubbish bins in case it had been dumped.

“The money would have been used for new glasses which I need because I am going blind.

“Now it is gone.”

The pair retraced their steps and a shop assistant at jewellers Hinds remembers the carer having the purse in that store.

The next shop they entered was Shoe Zone where they believe it was taken.

Unfortunately, the store does not have CCTV making it difficult to pinpoint for certain who made off with the money.

Mrs Longcroft, of Wargrave Road, Clacton, hit out at the people who targeted her.

She said: “I just think they are absolutely callous.

“How could they do this to me when they can see I am in a wheelchair?

“The person, I think, who did it is not young.

“They are a similar age to me.

“It is absolutely disgusting what they have done.

Along with the crucial cash - the purse itself was sentimental having been handed to her by her mother.

It also contained irreplaceable sentimental photographs of Mrs Longcroft’s husband Paul.

It is described as a black leather item with a zip compartment and a gold clasp and a popper.

Anyone with any information about theft theft should call police on 101.

Details can also be given to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or crimestoppers-uk.org.