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Post office raise cash after OAP is victim of cruel theft
9:19pm Sunday 3rd November 2013 in News
KIND-hearted residents have come together to help a 97-year-old Hampshire pensioner who had hundreds of pounds of pension money stolen while he was out shopping.
As previously reported, Leslie Parsonage was in the Fryern Arcade shopping area in Chandler’s Ford when thieves stole his wallet containing £450.
Staff at the Fryern Arcade Post Office were so upset that they organised a fundraiser and thanks to the generosity of customers, they raised more than £500 in just two weeks.
Police have previously released CCTV footage of their number one suspect who distracted the widower in the Fryern Arcade as she snatched his wallet with his pension inside.
Moving images appear to show the thief pocketing the wallet after duping the frail pensioner, as well as a suspected male accomplice to the theft.
Counter clerk Vicky Syson, who launched the fundraiser, sees Mr Parsonage every week when he collects his pension. She said residents had been left shocked and had asked after the pensioner, who has severely limited sight and walks with a white stick.
Staff decided to put up a donation box, but smashed their original target making a total of £517.
“It doesn’t take away from the fact it’s happened, but at least he could get the money back,” said Vicky.
“It’s also nice for him to know that there’s lots of nice people that have managed to give him his money back as opposed to this horrible person that took it off him.”
Mr Parsonage, from Bassett, who has been unable to go out on his own since, thanked everyone, adding: “I think it’s marvellous. I never expected that, it’s very kind of them all.
“I didn’t think there were good people about any more like that.”
Mr Parsonage had been resting on railings outside Boots when the female suspect wearing a camel-coloured 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.
Forty-eight hours after the theft, Leslie suffered a blood clot and was rushed to Southampton General Hospital. His family believe this could have been caused by the stress of the ordeal.
Fortunately he has pulled through and is now back home after spending two weeks in hospital and another two in a nursing home.
Leslie’s great nephew Russell Leggett said: “I think it’s put a bit of community spirit back into that area. It shows that people like this can’t win.”
Anybody who saw the theft or recognises the woman in the CCTV image should contact the Targeted Patrol Team at Eastleigh Police on 101.
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