Northumbria Police are appealing for the public's help to trace two women pictured in the CCTV images.
The 87-year-old woman was using the changing rooms in Asda, in Coronation Street, and left her handbag on the trolley just outside.
But when she reached the pensioner realised £170 had be stolen from her purse.
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The alleged theft occurred at around 3.30pm on January 8.
A spokesman for the force said: "Inquiries are ongoing into the incident, and police have now identified two women they would like to speak to in connection with the alleged theft.
"They were known to have been in the supermarket at the time of the incident, and could have vital information that could assist officers with the investigation.
"The women, or anyone who recognises them, is asked to contact 692 080119 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."