AN appeal has been launched by police to speak to a man after a series of thefts involving putting ketchup on victims.

Officers want to speak to the man after a number of thefts in Accrington town centre reported between Wednesday, May 9 to Tuesday, May 15.

Police have said a man has been suspected of squirting ketchup on the backs of elderly residents and then stealing from them as they clean the sauce off.

A police spokesman said: "We would like to speak to him in relation to a number of thefts in Accrington town centre.

"It's suspected a man has placed ketchup on the backs of elderly males and females and stolen their purses/wallets whilst distracted trying to get the ketchup off."

Police reported over the weekend they were investigating a number of incidents of the same description.

Anyone who recognises him should contact PCSO 7672 James Southworth on 01254 353135 quoting crime number ED1810148.

Alternatively people can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.