Pensioner's Christmas cash stolen

A GRINCH has stolen Christmas from one Grafton pensioner after $400 she’d been saving for presents was taken when her purse was snatched.

The 88-year-old, who doesn’t want to be named, said she had been putting aside money for Christmas in readiness for the arrival next week of a daughter and family from the US.

But her faith in the Christmas spirit has been deflated somewhat by what she believes was a ‘brazen daylight theft’ that cost her almost all her fortnightly pension.

While the partially-disabled grandmother did not discover her purse missing until Wednesday, she is sure it happened on Monday when returning from the supermarket.

After arriving home on her motorised scooter, the woman left her shopping bags and handbag on her porch while she put the scooter away.

She was only gone a couple of minutes but when she got back noticed a small wheelie bin on its side near her door. She found this strange as a few minutes earlier it was upright by the fence about 20 metres away.

She believes someone was watching her through the fence and jumped over and snatched her purse as she put away her scooter.

She was now warning others to be careful with their belongings.

“It’s made me more careful,” she said.

“I think it was opportunistic.

“I couldn’t believe that something like that could happen here and in broad daylight.”

She said she wouldn’t carry large sums of cash anymore and would not leave her handbag where it could be stolen – no matter for how short a time.

While she is putting on a brave face, daughter Meryl Walsh said the loss of money was a real blow.

“She has been putting away money for Christmas for a while now and she doesn’t have much, so this is hitting her quite hard.”

But the woman is not letting the incident hamper her independence. She said she’d still use her scooter to go shopping and was not fearful for her safety.

But her daughter said she was mortified someone would target an elderly lady like that.

“It’s like she was being watched,” Mrs Walsh said. “She was very upset about it yesterday. She had a hip replacement recently and she’s only just got on her feet.”

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