Appeal to find elderly woman’s stolen handbag

A woman has appealed for the public’s help to find her stolen handbag which contained a cherished love letter from her late husband.

At around 10.30am on Monday 11 September 2017, 84-year-old Cathy was shopping in Waitrose in Christchurch when her handbag was stolen as she got out of her mobility scooter to reach an item from the shelf in the freezer aisle.

The handbag contained her late husband’s birth certificate and passport, marriage certificate, £200, purse and other personal items.

It also contained a love letter which her husband, Nigel, had written to her over 30 years ago and a photograph of him. The pair had spent many happy years together bringing up their children before they married in June 2003. Sadly Nigel died from cancer in March 2014 aged 74. 

Cathy said: “That letter means everything to me. He’s been dead three and a half years now and I still talk to him and very often used to read my letter but I haven’t got that now.

“It is something that I cannot replace. I don’t care about the money which was stolen but I desperately want that letter back. If anyone has it, please hand it in.”

Cathy, with the support of friends, has been searching gardens and bins in the area but has not been able to find it. None of her bank cards were used and they have all since been cancelled.

Cathy, who lives in Christchurch, is urging anyone who might know where her handbag is or has seen one discarded in the Christchurch area to please contact Dorset Police.

The handbag is described as a square black leather bag which had two pockets on the outside and two handles. It also contained a pink purse and a set of keys with a blue fob and a silver cat attached.

Police Constable Jackie Kearle, of Dorset Police, said: “This was a devastating incident which has left Cathy deeply upset. I am appealing to anyone who witnessed any suspicious activity in the area of Waitrose at the time of the incident to please get in touch.

“If you find the handbag in the nearby area, please contact Dorset Police.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55170141361. Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.