Theft of 88-year-old volunteer's handbag 'shocking', says charity manager

10:59am Tuesday 18th February 2014

NEWS of an 88-year-old charity shop volunteer whose handbag was stolen on shift has been met with shock and outrage.

A Dyfed-Powys Police spokesman confirmed a black leather handbag was stolen from the Paul Sartori charity shop at Castle Terrace, Pembroke, between 12.15pm and 12.45pm on Saturday (February 15).

The handbag, which belonged to a volunteer at the shop, contained personal items, including a purse containing money, a bus pass and a bank card.

Paul Sartori Foundation charity manager Sandra Dade said: “All of our volunteers are very, very special and important to us, and they are the back bone of the foundation.

“They give up their own time to support the foundation and they provide a huge contribution to the community, and for somebody to come in and see an opportunity to take advantage of someone who’s trusting and who’s doing something good in the community is just shocking.”

The volunteers was said to be “really, really shaken up” after. Charity staff and trustees have since visited her.

Sandra added: “This has really put a sad, damp feeling on the atmosphere of the shop which has been going for many years.

“We are really angry. This is somebody who’s upset one of our volunteers who we truly, truly value.”

A post on the Pembrokeshire Bay Facebook page by Dave Crew appealing for information has been shared nearly 300 times and caused many to express their outrage at the theft.

One of those who commented on the post was Jim Payne, of Here to Buy Repairs, Neyland. He has offered to replace the cash.

“I just think it’s terrible,” he told the Western Telegraph. “I don’t know what was in her purse but I’m more than happy to help.

“That could’ve been my mum or my dad. I don’t particularly want the publicity, it’s just the right thing to do. I’m lucky that I’m in a position to help.

“There might have been £50 in the purse which is a huge amount of money for an elderly person.”

Anyone with any information on the theft is asked to contact Pembroke police station on 101.

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