A CALLOUS thief who stole cash from two elderly bus passengers has been jailed for three years.

The two victims, aged 90 and 78, had been getting on separate buses in Widnes, on Monday, January 13, when they were deliberately targeted.

John Turner, aged 50, from Liverpool, admitted two counts of theft and was sentenced at Chester Crown Court.

A man, who has not yet been traced, dropped coins to distract the two pensioners.

Turner, standing beside the two victims, stole wallets from their back trouser pockets.

Both incidents happened between 11.15am and 11.45pm at a bus stop in Green Oaks Way.

A bank card in one of the wallets was used a short time later and further cash was stolen. The wallets contained cash and bank cards. Around £700 was stolen from both victims.

An investigation was launched by Widnes Neighbourhood Policing Unit to trace those responsible.

On January 20, police received information of suspicious activity at the bus stop. Officers arrived swiftly at the scene and Turner was arrested and subsequently charged.

Turner was sentenced on Monday, February 3.

PC Kerry Pemberton said today: "This was a despicable crime targeting two elderly and vulnerable victims from the local community.

“The two victims were left extremely upset by what had happened.

“I hope that both the guilty plea by Turner and the subsequent custodial sentence will help to bring about a degree of closure for them.

"Widnes Neighbourhood Policing Unit is committed to tackling this type of crime. It has a big impact on the victim and officers will do all they can to ensure that those who choose to break the law and behave in this way are caught and punished for their actions."