Elderly Leeds crime victim ‘overwhelmed’ at cash raised by strangers

Rich Bell set up a Crowd Funding page to help the woman, who he has never met
Rich Bell set up a Crowd Funding page to help the woman, who he has never met
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An elderly widow who was burgled when a thief tricked their way into her home says she is “overwhelmed” after hundreds of pounds was raised to help her.

The 84-year-old, from Beeston, had her purse stolen by a woman who had asked to use her toilet.

But an online fundraising campaign set up after the incident has so far generated £290 for the victim - much of which has been donated by other Beeston residents.

The woman, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “I have been overjoyed at the support shown to me by the people of Leeds, and was truly overwhelmed when I heard about the kind and wonderful donations given by them, in particular the people of Beeston which is an area I have lived in for over 50 years.”

The pensioner was walking home from the shops on July 27 when the thief - a mixed race woman in her late teens or 20s - struck up a conversation near the Southleigh Road and Gypsy Lane junction in Beeston.

Having offered to help pull her victim’s wheeled shopping bag home, the crook then used the bathroom before sneaking out with her purse.

The elderly woman said she was “shocked, upset and disappointed”, adding: “I am a pensioner so I only have a limited amount of money each week anyway.

“My purse also contained other things within it of particular sentimental value, such as a photograph of my late husband which I will probably never get back.

Fellow Beeston resident Rich Bell has never met the victim but set up a page on the Just Giving website to “make things a little better for someone who has suffered a misfortune”.

It will close on September 10.

In a message to those who have donated, the woman said: “I would just like to pass on my thanks and gratitude to those people who have shown their support, and say that thankfully it demonstrates that there are still kind and caring people in the world.”

Police are continuing to appeal for information about the incident.

Call Det Con Emma Hogarth at Elland Road police station via 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

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