A man was arrested in connection with 11 huggings in York.
The 65-year-old pensioner would allegedly target elderly women who were walking along the street alone.
"I was desperately skint and I needed the money. But I don't like robbing or thieving, so I thought I'd try mugging. It sounds nicer."
He would approach them and engage them in conversation whilst seeking an opportunity to steal their handbags. But he ended up just giving them a hug.
"When I looked into their eyes and they smiled at me so nicely, I just wanted to hug them, bless 'em."
Police warned that as Christmas approaches there is likely to be a spate of huggings.