A penioner who was robbed as she shopped in Driffield has praised the people of the town who rallied round to replace her stolen money.
The 89 year old was in Rafters on Middlet Street when a cold hearted thief snatched her purse containing £80, her keys and personal possessions
The crime was captured on CCTV and shop owner Andy Rafter was so outraged that he posted a message on the internet site Facebook warning the thief that the footage had been handed to the police.
His actions won swift support from the community, as people pledged donations to help the pensioner, who has been forced to change the locks on her home.
Customers quickly raise more than £130 which was handed over to the pensioner at the weekend.
She responded with a personal message to staff and customers of Rafters, which said: “Thank you for your help and the donations given to me.
“I am very grateful.
“There are good people about - you have proved that.”
Mr Rafter said that he had been amazed and surprised by the rapid response to his facebook post, which said: “To the female that just stole a purse from the bag of an 89 year old lady in our shop an hour ago I suggest you go buy some hair dye. I have a perfect CCTV image of you which I have just handed to the police #yourenicked.”
The CCTV images show the suspect following the pensioner around the shop and speaking to her before suddenly walking away.
It was only when the elderly lady reached the tills that she realised that her purse was missing.
Within hours of Mr Rafter’s message appearing on Facebook, dozens of customers had pledged their support.
He said: “The lady was very distressed and it was upsetting seeing her in that state.I did run around the town looking for the woman who stole the purse but couldn’t find her. The Police have all the details now so fingers crossed.”
Emma Hodson aid on Facebook: “Hope the lady gets her purse back, and all its contents, people carry old photos and memories in their purses and them cannot be replaced, and as for the low life - I hope they do catch her, and humiliate her in the town with her mug shot plastered all round,”
Anthony Neary said: “I could weep when I hear such stories about our wonderful ageing gentlefolk.”
Michelle Smith said: “Let’s hope all the lovely people of Driffield can help to restore the poor lady’s faith in human nature - fingers crossed she gets her precious things back as well.”
Hayley Monks said: “I’ve just pledged a pound to be added onto next weeks veg box. I know its not alot but if everyone who has boxes delivered did the same it would hopefully replace what the poor lady had stolen at least in money terms. Made me cry to think of the sentimental items that may have been in that purse at 89 years old its a whole lifetime’s worth.”
Linda Mills said: “This is lovely what everyone is doing, broke my heart today thinking this scumbag did this whilst we were all there busy serving, then cried again when little girl came in with her pocket money.”
The theft happened at about 1.45pm last Thursday and it is thought that the thief was a professional. Anyone who recognises her from the CCTV image should call the police on 101 quoting log 358 of September 5.