An elderly couple fought back when distraction burglars broke into their Langley Mill home on Friday night.
The 82-year-old victim and his 77-year-old wife were watching television in their conservatory on Codnor Station Lane at 8pm when there was a knock at the interior door.
An intruder in the kitchen persuaded the man to come outside and his wife followed - but the intruder then disappeared. When the couple went back inside they discovered a second man in the process of stealing a handbag.
The lady tried to grab hold of it - but the thief fled. Police say the first man was around 6ft tall and was wearing a khaki coat with a hood trimmed in cream fur.