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 Donations help vulnerable bag snatch victim have a happy Christmas


​A vulnerable pensioner who had her bag snatched twice in a week will have a happy Christmas thanks to generous members of the public.

The 69-year-old woman had her bag - containing her purse, cash and bank cards - stolen as she walked home from the shops in St Helen Auckland at around 3.30pm on December 15, and again at the same time on December 21.

In a bid to spread some festive cheer, officers in Bishop Auckland appealed on Facebook for the public to donate some gifts to give to the woman before Christmas…and were completely overwhelmed by what they received!

In a matter of hours, people had donated all sorts of gifts, including chocolates, selection boxes, biscuits and cakes.

The Angel Trust also kindly donated £200 to replace the money that the woman had stolen, while Feeding Families donated a Christmas food box.

Meanwhile, local youngsters Jacob, Reuben and Noah sent the victim handmade Christmas cards, along with chocolates and teabags. 

Detective Constable Nichola Gaines, from Bishop Auckland CID, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of the local people in our area and I would like to thank everyone who has donated items or shared the original post to raise awareness.

“We cannot thank everyone enough. Thank you to the staff at both The Angel Trust and Feeding Families for the kindness they have also extended to the victim of these crimes - we hope this goes some way to restoring her faith in our community and helping her to enjoy what should be a happy time of the year.

“I would also like to thank three local children who have made handmade Christmas cards for the lady in question and delivered them to the police station - this kind gesture is very much appreciated.”

Officers have delivered surplus items to the foodbank on Woodhouse Close Estate, in Bishop Auckland, and a number of local care homes.

Anyone who has any information on the bag snatches is asked to contact Bishop Auckland CID on 101.