HAVERHILL — A purse belonging to a 37-year-old city woman was stolen from her cart as she shopped for groceries Sunday afternoon at the Market Basket at 2 Water St., police said.

But the thief, who appears to be a young woman in her late teens, was captured on the store's security surveillance system as she walked out of the store clutching the purse. Police are now trying to identify her.

"From the video, it appears she went in there on a mission," Detective Glen Fogarty said.

Fogarty said it did not appear the thief went into the store for any other purpose than to steal a purse.

The victim told police she was in the store shopping with her two young children and had walked a short distance to get grocery items. She said when she returned to her shopping cart her purse was missing.

The maroon-colored leather purse contained several credit cards, an ATM debit card, A Garmin GPS valued at $200, a T-Mobile cell phone valued at $100, a checkbook, her driver's license, house keys, car keys, keys to her workplace, personal items and personal papers, police said.

The store security video shows a woman reaching into her cart and taking the purse. The woman then held the purse by her side and walked out the front door of the store.

Police ask that anyone with information about the woman's identity call Fogarty at 978-373-1212, ext. 570.

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