An Abbots Langley woman has been left fuming after her shopping was stolen while she tried on new shoes.

Cheryl Peacock was visiting Marks and Spencer in Watford High Street on the morning of Saturday, February 11. While trying on a pair of shoes, her shopping, which she had purchased in John Lewis, was taken.

The 45-year-old said: “I picked up a pair of shoes in M&S, sat down on one of their benches to try them on and put my John Lewis carrier bag beside me.

“I heard a bit of commotion going on behind me, but to be honest I wasn’t paying attention. The next thing, I look down and the carrier bag is gone.

“There was £20-worth of make-up in that bag, it was incredibly frustrating.”

According to Ms Peacock, she told the store’s security guard about the incident and was told it would be looked up on CCTV. But to date, the store has made no further contact with her.

The Little How Croft resident said: “I didn’t bother reporting it to the police as I’d told the security guard.

“The whole situation is incredibly frustrating. It would be nice to hear from M&S as to whether they’ve found anything on their CCTV footage. “I did look around, but lots of people were carrying the same carrier bag, so I couldn’t see who the thief was.

“While I was in the store, I was talking to another woman who said she understood this sort of thing happens in Watford all the time, that thieves are deliberately targeting people trying on shoes.

“I’m lucky my handbag was on my shoulder and not next to the carrier bag.

“£20-worth of make-up may not be much, but for shoppers who are carrying expensive items, I hope my story will act as a warning.

“Be conscious of where you are, your surroundings, and keep hold of your bags.

“And don’t be distracted by shoes.”

M&S representatives said it takes security and safety extremely seriously.

Spokesman Jeremy Page said: "We have our own security team and work closely with the local police when necessary.We would always advise customers to take good care of their possessions while in-store.”