Pickpockets who preyed on elderly bus passengers have been jailed.

Lewisham woman Hristova Marinova and homeless woman Marieta Petrova stole from bus passengers in Sutton, Kingston, Wandsworth and other areas in South London between February and October last year.

Marinova, 27, of Clifton Rise, was caught after a police investigation involving extensive examination of bus CCTV.

She was arrested on Valentine's Day this year as she returned from a trip abroad to find police waiting for her.

She and Petrova, 30, targeted elderly and vulnerable people as they travelled the bus network pickpocketing travellers.

Marinova admitted seven counts of theft with six further counts taken into account at Inner London Crown Court on May 1 and was jailed for 12 months. She is likely to be deported on her release.

Petrova was sentenced to 10 months in prison after being convicted of 10 offences with six more taken into consideration at Kingston Crown Court in March.

Chief Superintendent Sultan Taylor said: "This was an excellent result which has seen two prolific pickpockets receive significant terms in jail.

"The Safer Transport Command with its partners Transport for London has a primary aim to safeguard the travelling public from criminals and to keep them safe whilst using London's bus system.

"If you commit an offence, you will be caught and if convicted every avenue of punishment will be considered - so the message is clear: crime on London’s bus system will not be tolerated - we will bring those who are responsible to justice."

The convictions were secured by the Safer Transport Command, funded by Transport for London.