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Elderly thief caught in the act

AN ELDERLY man has been caught on camera stealing a woman's purse in a shop in Runcorn Old Town.

AN ELDERLY man has been caught on camera stealing a woman's purse in a shop in Runcorn Old Town.

The thief was caught on camera in Church Street's Booze Buster.

Irene Jordan, of Sutherland Court, Ellesmere Street, was shopping in town when she left her purse in the shop, but by the time she realised and went back to collect it ­ it had gone.

Irene said: 'I was having a barbecue that night for my 10 grandchildren, neighbours and friends. Almost 30 people were coming in all, so I was in town to do the shopping. I was devastated when I realised my purse had been stolen.'

Staff immediately phoned the police to report the incident, and then scrolled through the morning's footage from the surveillance unit, which clearly identified an elderly man who picked up the purse and put it in his pocket before leaving the shop.

Then, in an unbelievable twist of fate, Mrs Jordan and the Booze Buster manager saw the man heading into the betting shop as they were waiting outside for the police to arrive.

By this time Irene's son Philip had arrived and as the man came out of the shop and headed towards the bus stop, Philip and another man went to confront him.

The thief accompanied them back to Booze Buster, claiming he had picked the purse up with the intention of returning it, but when he looked inside there was nothing to identify the owner.

Mrs Jordan said: 'If he was going to return it to me, then why didn't he just hand it in at the shop. There were several phone numbers in the purse, as well as my car insurance certificate, so I could have easily been identified.'

But when the police arrived to arrest the thief, Irene intervened and gave him a lucky escape.

She said: 'I told them I didn't want to press charges. I couldn't have had him put in a cell ­- he was too old -­ and I wouldn't want to cause such distress and upset to his wife and family.'

So instead she gave him a good telling off.

Irene added: 'I told him I was disgusted and that people of his age should be setting a good example to the younger generation, not be out stealing. I just hope he has learned a lesson.'


David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
Mike Fuller
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