Par­ents ap­peal to ‘pick­pock­ets’ to re­turn sav­ings

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page - by Sam Len­non slen­non@thek­m­group.co.uk

A FAM­ILY is ap­peal­ing to the con­sciences of thieves they be­lieve stole £200 from their 11year-old son.

A wal­let con­tain­ing the money, which Michael Dun­ning had saved for al­most three years, was feared taken by pick­pock­ets in Ash­ford High Street.

Po­lice say this was one of three cases of miss­ing wal­lets or purses in the area on the same day.

Now Michael’s fa­ther, Jeff, said: “Michael’s in­no­cent out­look on life has gone and he has be­come very cyn­i­cal to­wards other peo­ple.

“It is so sad see­ing him awaken to a side of some peo­ple’s na­ture that he never knew about be­fore.”

Mr Dun­ning, in an open let­ter to the thieves, said: “Please help to re­store his and our faith in hu­man na­ture by giv­ing us your help.”

Michael’s wal­let van­ished as he walked through Ash­ford town cen­tre with his mother Nar­jleen, 42, at about 4pm on Tues­day, Fe­bru­ary 17.

The cash, which was the lad’s sav­ings of Christ­mas, birth­day and pocket money, dis­ap­peared as they went be­tween County Square and McDon­ald’s in the High Street.

It was in a wal­let in Mrs Dun­ning’s hand­bag be­fore three or four youths had barged into her. When the fam­ily ar­rived at McDon­ald’s the wal­let was miss­ing.

The fam­ily, at first think­ing it was lost, re­traced their steps to see if they could find it and then re­ported the in­ci­dent to po­lice.

Michael, a pupil at Ash­ford’s Nor­ton Knatch­bull School, had been on the way to de­posit the money in the bank af­ter it had been bor­rowed and re­paid by his grand­fa­ther, Roy Dun­ning, 77.

Jeff Dun­ning said: “Our son, who be­lieves every­one is in­her­ently good, was re­ally shocked. He just couldn’t be­lieve that some­one would just walk away with his money.”

Po­lice are also ex­am­in­ing re­ports of two lost purses in Ash­ford High Street that day.

One was re­ported miss­ing out­side the Mecca Bingo Hall and the other be­tween Marks & Spencer and Ar­gos.

Po­lice spokesman Rosy Alexan­der said: “We ad­vise women to al­ways keep their hand­bags se­cure.

“They should be zipped up and slung to the body rather than the shoul­der.

“If some­one pushes or jos­tles you, hold the bag close to you.”

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