Three people have been charged over pick-pocketing from shoppers in St Albans and Hemel Hempstead.
Two men and two women are facing charges of conspiracy to steal, which relates to 12 offences of theft that are alleged to have taken place between July 2018 and November 2018. The oldest victim was 98 years old.
The group, who are all from Dagenham, have been remanded in custody and are due to appear at Hatfield Remand Court on Friday, November 9.
The arrests follow an operation to tackle purse dipping by the St Albans Local Crime Unit and the Specialist Investigation Team.
Harpenden Neighbourhood Sergeant Jordon Fox said: “There is some simple crime prevention advice that people can follow to help them reduce their chances of being targeted by thieves.
“Please keep your bag on you at all times with it zipped up and be aware of people distracting you or brushing past you. Please also keep an eye out for elderly or vulnerable members of the public, who unfortunately are sometimes targeted by thieves.”
If you see a crime in progress, call 999. If reporting after the event, please dial 101 or report online www.herts.police.uk/Report/Report.