An elderly Wairarapa woman is recovering today after having her handbag stolen from her in central Masterton yesterday morning.
Detective Sergeant Rob Rackliff of the Wairarapa CIB says the 91 year old had withdrawn cash from the bank and travelled to the council buildings on her mobility scooter to pay her rates.
"As she was leaving the council buildings, a young male ripped her handbag from out of her hand before fleeing in a nearby vehicle. We believe the offender had seen the victim withdrawing money from the bank."
Detective Sergeant Rackliff says Police located the vehicle a short time later in Ngaumutawa Road near Webstar, and spoke with the driver. It is believed that the offender was a passenger in the vehicle and had decamped through the Webstar grounds. The victim's handbag was recovered, but without the cash.
"The offender has been described as a male Maori, in his early 20's, tall of slim build and shaven hair, wearing blue jeans or shorts, and a light coloured singlet. The offender possibly had tribal tattoos on both arms."
Detective Sergeant Rackliff says, "I'm disgusted by this crime and I'm sure all of our community will be as well. The victim was initially taken to hospital because she was traumatised by the incident but later released. She is now being cared for by family and being given assistance from Victim Support staff. "
Anyone with any information should contact Wairarapa Police on (06) 3600 300 or phone Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.