Police in Midlothian are appealing for information following the incident at around 12.35pm on Thursday at the Semi-Chem store on the High Street, Dalkeith.
An 81-year-old woman entered the shop and was followed in by a man and woman.
While the woman kept the victim’s attention, the man was able to steal her purse from a shopping bag.
Inquiries are ongoing to trace the suspects and anyone with information is asked to come forward.
The man is described as white, aged in his 30s or 40s, around 6ft tall, with a medium to large build and wearing a grey flat cap, two tone grey hooded jumper, denim jeans and black shoes.
The woman is described as white, also in her 30s or 40s, about 5ft 5ins tall, with a medium build and wearing a black beanie hat, black jacket and denim jeans.
Sergeant Michele Lindsay said: “This was a despicable theft, where the elderly victim was clearly targeted by the suspects.
“Anyone who recognises the description of this pair, or who has any information that can assist with our inquiries should contact police immediately.”
Those with information can contact Dalkeith Police Station via 101 and quote incident number 1503 of the 1st February. Alternatively, an anonymous report can be made through the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.