Pensioner, 81, reunited with missing purse and cash as 'honest' finder thanked
UPDATE: 2.25pm Lincolnshire Police have reported that the purse has been returned to its owner with all cash intact.
"The lady who lost it is very pleased and the member of the public who found is thanked for their honesty," they said in a statement.
A shopping trip cost an 81-year-old Lincolnshire woman dear when she left her purse containing cash behind after she sat down for a rest.
Now Lincolnshire Police are appealing to the 'finder' of the purse - who was caught on a town centre CCTV camera.
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It happened in Alford Market Place in the east of the county on Saturday lunchtime.
The pensioner sat on a bench soon after midday and placed her purse nearby while she arranged her shopping.
But, when she got up a few minutes later, she accidentally left the purse behind.
Police have revealed that CCTV footage showed a female coming and sitting on the bench just after 12.10pm - and appearing to pick something up before walking away.
The next person to return to the bench was the lady who lost her purse - but it was gone.
The purse is made of grey fabric with two zips and contained the lady's bank cards and an amount of cash.
"I would like to give the finder of the purse the benefit of the doubt and hope that the purse was picked up for safe-keeping with every intention of it being handed in," said PC Alina Ames.
"The purse belongs to an 81-year-old lady who is understandably very upset.
"The offence of 'theft by finding' may lead to a prosecution, the same as any other theft offence.
"But we would really like to avoid that and just get the purse back to its owner."
Contact PC Ames on 101, quoting incident 232 of August 10 - or hand it in to the Alford or Mablethorpe Police Stations.
Anyone who has information can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.