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Video released in hunt for woman who stole from 97-year-old
POLICE have stepped up their hunt for the woman who stole hundreds of pounds from a 97-year-old Hampshire pensioner who is now in hospital after suffering a setback.
Officers have released CCTV footage of their number one suspect, who swooped in and distracted the trusting widower Leslie Parsonage, in Fryern Arcade, Chandler’s Ford, as she snatched his wallet with his pension inside.
The moving images clearly show the thief pocketing the wallet containing £450, after duping the frail pensioner, as well as a suspected male accomplice to the “despicable” crime.
Leslie’s family is now urging anyone who recognises this woman to help police catch her before she targets any more vulnerable pensioners who could end up in hospital like their great uncle.
Just 48 hours after the distressing theft, Leslie suffered a blood clot and was rushed to Southampton General Hospital where his loved ones were warned he may not survive.
Fortunately, he has pulled through but his devastated family believe the stress of the ordeal led to his health deteriorating and they are desperate for police to catch the woman before she can strike again.
Leslie’s great nephew Russell Leggett said: “My biggest worry is that this woman does it again to another elderly, vulnerable person and it could end up being life-threatening for someone of that age. These thieves don’t think about that.
“He has ended up in hospital possibly as a result of the theft because doctors believe the stress could have triggered it all.
“It is disgusting what she has done. He was obviously frail and vulnerable, he had his white stick with him, and yet she still struck.
“This has really knocked him, changed his life. It may have even shortened it because now he won’t go to Fryern Arcade again, which was his one bit of independence, his one outing a week that he looked forward to and now he hasn’t got that anymore.
“We just hope that if anyone recognises her from the images that they will come forward and help stop her from doing it again.” As previously reported, Leslie was resting on railings outside Boots, in Fryern Arcade when the woman in the camel coat asked him what the time was, at around 12.15pm, on September 26.
He had just collected his pension from the Post Office and as he looked at his watch, she managed to steal his wallet from his jacket pocket before walking off and putting on a white hat.
The woman is described as Asian or eastern European, thin and around 5ft 6ins tall.
Anybody who saw the theft or recognises the woman or the male accomplice should contact the Targeted Patrol Team at Eastleigh Police on 101.
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