This is the moment a pickpocket stole £2,000 in cash from a grandmother at her local fruit and veg store after apparently tailing her from a nearby bank.
Kantaben Ashani, 69, was choosing radishes for a salad when two women flanked her by the vegetable boxes.
CCTV footage shows them apparently selecting items before one whips the envelope of money — withdrawn to pay for building work and Diwali gifts for family – from Mrs Ashani’s handbag.
She discovered the theft minutes later when she went to the till to pay — to find her bag wide open and the cash gone.
Mrs Ashani, a retired cleaner, said: “I saw the women but thought they were just shopping. I started crying at the till, I couldn’t stop talking and crying. It’s the first time I’ve carried this much money.
“I get flashbacks every time I go to the shop. I’m praying to God that they don’t do that to anyone else.”
She also visited Boots to pick up her husband’s prescription before heading to the grocers in Hool Close, Kingsbury, just before 4 pm on October 11.
Mrs Ashani, originally from Gujarat in India, said she would now struggle to give her loved ones Diwali presents: “One of our rituals is that we give money to our grandchildren — it’s like Christmas, lots of presents. Now the money’s gone Diwali will be a bit of a financial strain.”
Her granddaughter, 24, said: “She can look after herself but now we are offering to go with her in the car when she gets money out. You just think of what else could have happened to her, it’s horrible.”
The Metropolitan police confirmed it was investigating.
Police issued a warning to be alert for thieves over Diwali, which starts today. Last year 3,464 jewelry thefts were reported by families celebrating the Hindu festival.