Police officers are warning shoppers to be on their guard after a woman had cash stolen from a purse that was taken from a bag she was carrying over her shoulder in the Arndale Centre in Eastbourne last Tuesday.
The purse was later found in the changing rooms in Primark with the cash missing.
Anyone with information about the theft is asked to call Sussex Police on 101 quoting serial 1220 of 08/10.
In another incident, a woman was shopping with her three-year-old son when she noticed her purse had been stolen - which had contained £50 in cash.
It was later found in the town centre and while bank cards, store cards and other personal items were still inside, the cash had been removed.
Sussex Police say shoppers should be aware purse and handbag thieves are always on the lookout for easy pickings and operate in town centres.
A spokesperson said, “Purse and bag thieves are very opportunistic and very quick, so don’t give them the chance.
“Keep your valuables, such as purses, wallets and mobiles, on your person, ideally in an inside or zipped or buttoned pocket, but if they’re in a bag keep it with the flap closed towards you.
“Don’t put bags down unattended and no matter how secure they are, don’t be tempted to carry them on a pushchair, buggy or any other form of trolley.”