A university student was robbed in the street when she bent down to tie her shoelace.
Police say a man snatched her holdall containing equipment worth more than £2,000.
Amongst the haul was an Apple Macbook which contained important work from her university studies.
“This has caused her some considerable distress as she has a crucial deadline to meet,” said DC Lewis Haigh from Preston CID.
The bag snatch happened as the 28-year-old victim took a short cut path from Williams Lane, just off Pitman Way in Fulwood at around 6pm on Friday November 25.
The student was walking with a suitcase and a large leather holdall. She stopped to tie her shoe when she was approached from behind by a man in dark clothing.
He snatched the holdall which contained the Macbook, an iPod, an iPad Mini and a Sony EOS 750D DSLR camera.
DC Haigh said: “The victim was on her way home to her parents’ house from London where she is studying when someone has pulled the bag from her as she was tending to her shoe. The stolen items are worth over £2000 which means they are extremely costly to replace.
“We know that this is a well-lit area frequented by dog walkers and so there may have been someone who saw or heard something that could help.
“If you have been offered any of this equipment to buy or you have information that could assist us, please get in touch.”
The offender is described as between 5ft 8ins and 5ft 10ins inches tall and of a slim build.
Anyone with information can contact Lancashire Police on 101 quoting crime reference SA1615909.
Alternatively the independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.