SHOPPERS are being warned to be on their guard against gangs of handbag thieves operating in supermarkets.
In one attack in Huddersfield, a woman was dragged alongside a car after thieves tried to grab her handbag from a shopping trolley.
Sgt Tim O'Sullivan said the 56-year-old Upper Cumberworth woman could easily have fallen under the wheels of the car and been seriously injured or killed.
He said she was unloading her shopping from the trolley into the boot of her car in the Morrison's supermarket car park at Waterloo when she became aware of a vehicle driving close by.
The front passenger tried to grab her bag and, in trying to retrieve it, she was dragged half into the car.
She was forced to run alongside the car when it set off and she was eventually thrown to the ground, suffering scratches and bruising to her right arm and leg.
The attack, which took place about 4.30pm on Tuesday, was the latest in several similar incidents.
Earlier the same day the same car was used in a similar attack in the Morrison's supermarket car park in Guiseley, Leeds.
Sgt O'Sullivan said several gangs from Halifax, Greater Manchester and Barnsley were known to operate in Huddersfield supermarket car parks.
The thief at Morrison's was described as white, in his mid- 30s, with mousy, collar-length hair and a thin face.
The gang's car was a silver Peugeot 205, J797 ONB.
Anyone with information, or who has been the victim of a similar attack, is urged to contact Det Con John Hallam on 01484 436685.