Kind-hearted po­lice help bur­glary vic­tim

Whip-round raises cash stolen from el­derly woman by trick­ster thieves

Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - By Kather­ine Cle­men­tine kather­ine.cle­men­tine@trin­i­tymir­

A HEART­LESS pair who posed as good sa­mar­i­tans in or­der to rob a Hayes pen­sioner prompted an amaz­ing show of gen­eros­ity from po­lice.

Hilling­don de­tec­tives were so moved by the plight of the el­derly woman – de­scribed as “the granny ev­ery­one wishes they had” – that they held a whipround to re­place her stolen pen­sion money.

Po­lice said the lady in her 80s, who they re­fer to as Beth (her sur­name has not been dis­closed), fell vic­tim to thieves af­ter with­draw­ing cash from HSBC in Hayes town cen­tre on Mon­day July 27.

The arthri­tis-suf­ferer, who takes an hour and a half to walk a short dis­tance to Cold­har­bour Lane, was ap­proached by a man and a woman who of­fered to give her a lift home in their car.

The pair en­tered the house de­spite the wid­owed vic­tim feel­ing un­easy. The woman re­mained with Beth and was affectionate to­wards her, while the man took the money. They then left through a bro­ken fence at the rear of the house.

Ex­hausted from her out­ing, Beth went straight to bed and did not re­alise the money was gone un­til a few days later.

She said: “When I re­alised who had taken the money. I couldn’t be­lieve it. They seemed so trust­wor­thy and kind.”

Both thieves were white. The woman was aged around 50, 5ft 4ins and medium build with high cheek bones and mousey light hair. Her thin ac­com­plice had a “gaunt” face, mousey coloured hair and was well dressed.

PC Rona John­ston vis­ited Beth at home and saw how vul­ner­a­ble she was – within a short time £150 had been raised for Beth.

De­tec­tive Sergeant Peter Boyd said: “Of­fi­cers have dug deep into their own pock­ets and have helped Beth in their per­sonal time to build her trust in peo­ple again.

“Those who stole from Beth are cruel in­di­vid­u­als who will stop at noth­ing for their own fi­nan­cial gain.

“I joined the Met to help peo­ple like Beth and see­ing her smile again has re­minded us all how vi­tal it is to pro­tect our el­derly and vul­ner­a­ble mem­bers of the com­mu­nity.”

The cash more than paid back the £117 stolen and po­lice ac­quired a sec­ond-hand TV which was set up in her liv­ing room.

Spe­cial Con­sta­ble Lewis Joyce also con­tacted his pre­vi­ous em­ployer – Paul Barnes, of Barnes Fenc­ing Sup­plies in North­wood – who pro­vided new fence posts and pan­els for Beth free of charge.

Any­one with in­for­ma­tion about the thieves is asked to call po­lice on 101.


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