Appeal after dying OAP purse theft

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Published: Sunday 8th February 2015 by The News Editor

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The family of a dying pensioner whose purse was stolen have urged the culprit to give himself up.

Police have described the theft from 82-year-old Irene Ditcher as a “disgusting” crime.

The incident happened in Leigh, Greater Manchester, on Wednesday.

The dead woman’s nephew and niece, in a statement issued through police, said: “We cannot believe that someone has done this to our auntie. We are absolutely disgusted by this person’s actions.

“Had Auntie Irene been alive she would have given them the money if they’d asked. We just hope their conscience gets the better of them and they hand themselves in to the police.”

They said they wanted to thank the public for the kindness shown in their loss.

“To our dearly loved auntie, who was taken from us; you now sit with the angels and your beloved family. You will be sadly missed by your dear friends and you will always be in our hearts but never forgotten.

“Rest in peace until we meet again. Good night, God bless.”

Officers were called to Leigh Road at 11.45am following reports that a woman had been hit by a lorry. They found her dead.

Officers were told by witnesses that after the collision a man stole her purse before leaving.

Detective Sergeant Neil Lawless said: “This is one of the most disgusting crimes I have ever investigated and I find it hard to believe someone could stoop so low to commit such a horrific offence.

“This man has taken what he sees as an easy opportunity by stealing a purse from a dying woman. I am sure the community will be equally disgusted and I appeal to anyone who may have seen this man take the purse and walk off on Leigh Road.

“There are a number of rumours circulating on social media at the moment but I would like to reassure residents we are doing all we can to find out who is responsible.

“However, for us to do so, we need your help. If you have any information, no matter how insignificant you think it may be, please call us as soon as possible.”

The man is described as white, 6ft, aged between 30 and 40, medium build, with a dark brown beard, wearing a light grey hooded top with the hood up, light blue jeans and black boot-style training shoes.

Anyone with information is asked to phone police on 101 or the independent charity CrimeStoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

Published: Sunday 8th February 2015 by The News Editor

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