The incident happened at around midday on Tuesday 3rd June on Larkswood Road. The suspect did not manage to steal the handbag and made off in the direction of Langley Close. It is believed that the car park was very busy at the time.
The 80-year-old woman was left uninjured but very shaken by the incident.
The man is described as having dark hair and he was wearing a light coloured long-sleeved top.
Any witnesses are asked to contact DC Ian Cox at Kirkleatham Volume Crime Team on the non-emergency number 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.