POLICE are appealing to residents to remain vigilant whilst shopping after a distraction theft at the weekend.

A woman who had been shopping in Chineham Shopping Centre on Saturday was approached by a man asking for directions to Coventry.

Detectives believe that whilst she was distracted, her handbag was stolen, and her bank card has since been used to withdraw money.

The male is described as in his 30s, roughly 5'10" with black hair and an eastern European accent.

A police statement said: "Please remain vigilant as on Saturday in a local supermarket car park in Basingstoke a female who had been shopping returned to her car and was distracted by a male asking for directions to Coventry using a map.

"This particular style of crime is fairly well known, although uncommon in this area please take care and be aware of this type of scam.

"On this occasion it was in The Chineham shopping centre car park at mid-day on Saturday 28th September, if you saw anything or have information which could assist please call 101 quoting reference 44190346991."