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OAP condemns ‘wicked’ thief who took savings
A DISABLED pensioner has hit out at a thief who stole hundreds of pounds from her while she was out in her mobility scooter.
Sylvia Neatham, 67, who has suffered a heart attack and two strokes, had taken money out of the bank to buy a computer so she could keep in touch with her four grandchildren over the winter.
But the Witney woman said the £770 went missing after a woman distracted her in Witan Way.
She said: “She was just talking to me as I was looking at other stuff, being stupid. It’s wicked.”
Police have released a CCTV image of a woman they would like to speak to in connection with the theft, which happened just before 3pm on Tuesday, August 13.
The mother-of-two, of Blakes Avenue, said she wanted to buy the computer while she had some spare money before her fuel bills rise during the winter.
She said: “I live alone. A computer would be something I can use to keep in touch with my grandchildren.”
Mrs Neatham was in hospital for 11 weeks and had three operations after her first stroke four years ago.
Her daughter Terina Holmes last night said the crime was “despicable”.
She said: “From a mental and physical point of view it has affected her massively.
“Now she’s not confident to go out in the community she thought she knew.
“Seven hundred and seventy pounds is a lot of money to someone who gets a state pension.”
Age UK spokesman Rach-elle Kennedy said: “It’s shocking to hear that this crime has been deliberately directed against a frail and vulnerable older person.”
Police said the suspect had tanned skin and dark hair. Anyone with information should call PC Katherine Giles on 101.
Security tips from Age UK s Spread your money and valuables around your body. For example, keep your keys in your coat pocket and your money in a closely carried bag.
- Keep valuables out of sight.
- Don’t carry large sums of money.
- Before you use a cash machine, check that no one is hovering behind you. Always safeguard your PIN number. Do not count your money in the middle of the street.
- If you use a wheelchair, keep your belongings beside you rather than hanging them on the back of the chair.
- Keep your handbag in sight all the time, not slung on your back like a rucksack.
- Shout loudly to get attention in an emergency.
- If someone tries to snatch your bag, it may be best to let them take it.
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