03/10/2012 08:46 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Thief Snatched IPhone From Baby's Hands As She Watched Barney The Dinosaur In Her Buggy

Thief snatches iPhone from baby's hands as she watches Barney the Dinosaur in her pram Alamy Model released image

A despicable thief stole an iPhone from a baby's hands as she watched a film of Barney the Dinosaur in her buggy.

The baby's mum, Danielle Hinnigan, had turned her back to look at some clothes in a busy store when the phone snatcher struck.

Her 20-month-old daughter, Luella Reid, alerted her mum by saying: "Mummy, Barney gone, gone."

The crime was caught on CCTV and the thief appears to be a middle-aged man with greying hair and glasses. He struck after following the family into the store.

At first, Danielle, 26, from Shevington Park, Merseyside, thought her daughter had dropped the phone, but after asking shop staff to check CCTV she realised what had happened and staff called the police.

The tape shows the man standing in front of the pram looking into it. He then looks around the shop before leaning forward, appearing to prise the phone from Luella's hands and then turns and walks away.

Danielle told her local paper: "Luella loves Barney and was watching a show on my phone. I thought maybe she had dropped it, I never thought someone would go in her pram and take it off her.

"I'm just glad it was just the phone and Luella was OK. He's followed me into that shop, to think he has targeted my daughter is disgusting. Everyone is absolutely disgusted, her dad was really angry and upset."

Police have appealed for witnesses. They believe the thief, who may have been with a female accomplice, followed them in after spotting the toddler holding the Apple iPhone 4 outside.

West Lancs inspector Andy Willis said: "This is a despicable offence where it appears that the suspect has deliberately targeted a child knowing the crime would be relatively easy to commit."

Stealing from a baby? Disgraceful.