A mother who had just left hospital with her sick daughter was targeted by thieves while ordering food in a McDonald's restaurant.
Rebecca Haworth, 32, briefly left her purse on the front counter of the McDonald’s on Hyndburn Road in Accrington and when she turned round found it had gone.
CCTV from the restaurant showed that a man had ‘nudged’ the purse off the counter before kicking it to a friend who then walked out with it.
Teaching assistant Rebecca said it put the finishing touches to ‘a rubbish week’ after spending several days at Royal Blackburn Hospital with her two-year-old daughter Hope Clarke.
Rebecca, from Great Harwood, said her daughter, who was born prematurely, suffers from a chronic lung disease and was sick in hospital with a chest infection.
She said: “I had been there all week and just come out.
“I dropped her off at my mum’s house and went to McDonald’s with my sister Donna Garratty and oldest daughter Mia O’Reilly.
“I felt like I was jet lagged as I had no sleep that week.
“They passed me my food tray and I went over to put it on the table. My purse was still on the counter so I went back to get it.
“The man behind me had spotted my purse and knocked it off the counter and kicked it to a friend who picked it up and left.
“When I came back I was saying I’d lost my purse.
“The guy who knocked if off was still waiting there and when he got his food he just walked out.”
The brown leather purse contained a Samsung A5 mobile phone, bank cards, £40 in cash and a driving licence.
Rebecca said it was ‘slyly and professionally done’.
She said: “Nobody saw anything, it was that good.
“I went on a hunt around every pub in Accrington looking for the guy and couldn’t find him.
“It ruined my night and my week and it was just the perfect ending to a rubbish week.”
Lancashire Police said the incident happened at around 8.20pm on Friday, October 30. One of the men is described as white, wearing a black and white striped T-shirt and a dark jacket.
Anyone with information on the incident can call Lancashire Police on 101 quoting crime reference number ED 1514660.