Dear Editor,

On Tuesday, June 26, I was in Algarve Shopping trying to buy sports clothes for my grandchildren. I was in JD Sports with our granddaughter when I had my purse stolen. 

I had used my credit card in the shop about five minutes before and put my purse back in my bag, but when I went to pay for another item the purse had gone. 

A man had bumped into me, quite heavily just before that. That must have been the distraction which enabled a colleague to steal my purse.

I called my husband, who was at home, and he checked our bank account. He noticed that €490 had already been withdrawn from ATMs in Algarve Shopping. Security and the police were called.

They mentioned that this was the fourth purse snatch in Algarve Shopping that day.

Unfortunately, my purse contained a debit card, a credit card (both with the same pin numbers), my driving licence, fiscal card, medical cards … all the usual stuff.

It was clear that this was a distraction theft by a man and a woman. They must have somehow noticed what my pin number was and then set out to rob me.

The woman was big with long dark hair and he was bald with a stubby beard.

We discovered later that they had even had the cheek to do a shop in Continente for €212, so with the cash in my purse, we lost over €800.

The police will be checking the cameras attached to the ATMs as we can give them fairly accurate timings for the withdrawals, so I hope they will be caught.

I would just like to warn your readers to be extra vigilant and keep their bags safe. 

Name and address withheld

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