‘IT WAS INSTINCT’: Brave mum helped woman being robbed
Woman slammed thief onto the bonnet of a car
A BRAVE mum-of-four came to the rescue of an elderly woman in Yeading, after a man stole her money in broad daylight.
Claire White, 31, was on her way to work with her partner, when all of a sudden she heard a woman screaming outside the Post Office on Yeading Lane, near Hayes, on Tuesday afternoon last week.
She said: “My partner went in the shop when all I heard was a lady screaming ‘somebody stop him, he’s got my money!’
“This black guy, aged in his 40s, was just casually walking back towards me and he had the money in his hand - so I jumped in front and said ‘stop, stop, give her her money back!’”
The brazen thief tried to tell Claire it was his money, but the elderly woman using a Zimmer frame was crying and screaming for her money back, so the brave mum grabbed him to stop him in his tracks.
She continued: “I’ve just held him there saying give her her money back.
“He pushed me really hard, so I whacked him and he went to punch me, but my partner grabbed him and I grabbed him again and he gave me the money.
“It all happened so quickly but we managed to get the money back for the old lady and the police came.
“I had to slam him down on the bonnet of a car and I was just holding his hands and screaming ‘give me the money’.
“He was struggling like mad for ages for a good three minutes, then he eventually gave up and just said ‘take the money’.”
Claire later found out that the thief had picked on the elderly lady, despite the shopping area being full of people and asked her if she had £1 spare.
The victim kept her money in the basket of her Zimmer frame and leant down to kindly give a pound to the man, who then swiped £20.
Claire, who is not at all trained in self defence, said: “I think it was my natural instincts just kicking in to make sure the lady got her money back.
“It was all so fast, it feels like a dream looking back on it all.
“It’s just in my nature to do things like that, if it was my nan I’d hope someone would have done have done the same for her.
“It was only £20, but thinking about it £20 to someone that age is probably quiet a lot of money really.”
The mum-of-four was left bruised and shaken after the ordeal.
Claire had to rush off to her job at a children’s amusement centre in Greenford, but police were called and arrived just as she was leaving.
She said: “They turned up about 30 seconds after he went down the alleyway.
“I wish I’d kept hold of him but I’ve got bruises all up my arms from where I was holding him.
“I gave the lady a big hug before I left and said ‘my name’s Claire, here’s your money’ - she was so shaken up and crying and kept saying ‘thank you’.
The incident comes shortly after a heroic Hillingdon cop chased down and arrested four burglars single-handedly in the borough.
Looking back on the ordeal, the mum-of-four realised how shook-up she was.
Claire said: “No one did anything, that’s why I was screaming: ‘somebody stop him’.
“There were loads of men, older than me, just staring and no one did anything.
“It was 3.30pm in the daytime, there were schoolchildren standing around. Maybe he thought because it was prime time he’d get away with it because it was so busy.
“I was really shaking walking to the bus stop, then when I was on the bus I was still shaking, but I’d calmed down a little bit as I was talking to my friend about it on the phone – but when I got to work it just all hit me and I couldn’t believe what had happened.
“When I thought back about it all you think, he could have had a knife but that lady was screaming.
“At that time I just focused on getting the money back as she’s more vulnerable than me.”
Metropolitan Police confirmed they are investigating the incident as a theft, but no arrests have yet been made.
n BRAVE: Claire White came to the aid of an elderly woman when a robber struck