A mother-of-one, who witnessed a pensioner having her handbag stolen on a bus and chased after the thief, has replaced all the money the victim lost with an online appeal.
The seventy-four year old pensioner forgot her bag as she got off the Number 78 bus at Stanley Bus Station on Wednesday. A woman picked up the bag, jumped off the bus and ran off into Stanley. Emma Fenwick, from Annfield Plain, chased the thief, but was unable to recover the handbag, leaving the victim extremely upset. The pensioner had wanted to buy a birthday present for her granddaughter.
Miss Fenwick, twenty-four, said, “I went straight out of the bus station and shouted, ‘Excuse me, that is an old woman’s bag.’ She heard me and started running. I ran after her and got down to the job centre, but she got through the cut and was gone. I was knackered; I could not run any further, but two lads carried on but they did not get her either.”
“On returning to the bus station, I found the lady in floods of tears, so upset, as anyone would be. She said, ‘Thank you for trying.’”
Other passengers looked after the victim and gathered evidence from eye-witnesses to give to the police. Though the police later found the handbag, all the money in it had been taken, along with the woman’s bus pass.
However, Miss Fenwick set up an internet fundraising page, which had raised more than £360 by Thursday evening. By Friday, the total had grown to over £400.
Miss Fenwick said, “I put on Facebook what had happened and someone said I should start a page to get her money back. I thought it was a brilliant idea and if we could raise a bit of money, it might restore her faith in humanity again. I cannot wait to hand it over. Hopefully, it will cheer her up a bit.”
“If we all spared £1, we’d be able to hand over a lovely cheque, just in time for Xmas.’
The victim, a grandmother-of-four from Stanley, also thanked another woman who stayed with her while Miss Fenwick pursued the thief. She said, “There were two good Samaritans in Stanley that day. The other one stayed with me for over an hour.”
“It was my own fault for leaving my bag on the bus, but the person who took it should have known there would be cameras on the bus and in the bus station. She must have been desperate for money. The young ladies who helped me were absolutely amazing. They were fabulous.”
“When this first happened it made me think there are some bad people in this world. But this (online appeal) has made me realise there are a good deal more kind people than I thought.”
Police have now arrested a thirty-two-year-old woman, who will appear in court later this month. Anybody wishing to donate to the appeal can go to justgiving.com/crowdfunding/emma-fenwick