Letchworth businesses to replace cash stolen from Bassingbourn pensioner

PUBLISHED: 17:01 14 October 2020 | UPDATED: 17:22 14 October 2020

Businesses in Letchworth town centre have clubbed together to donate money to a Bassingbourn woman who had her handbag stolen while shopping in the town. Picture: Jacob Savill

Businesses in Letchworth town centre have clubbed together to donate money to a Bassingbourn woman who had her handbag stolen while shopping in the town. Picture: Jacob Savill

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The business community in Letchworth have come together to replace an 80-year-old Bassingbourn woman’s pension money, after her handbag was stolen in the town on Monday.

General manager at Letchworth's Esquires Amy Johnson came up with the idea to replace the stolen money. Picture: Emily HousdenGeneral manager at Letchworth's Esquires Amy Johnson came up with the idea to replace the stolen money. Picture: Emily Housden

Business owners and employees have been doing their part to assist the pensioner, who had her bag stolen from her trolley while shopping in Poundland.

Wendy Brownfield from Bassingbourn noticed her bag missing when she went to pay for her shopping. Those signed up to the Business Improvement District (BID) were made aware a crime had taken place by a group alarm system.

Having seen what had happened, many took to the “Letchworth Town Centre Crime Prevention” WhatsApp group – which has 96 members – to discuss how they could help the woman.

Amy Johnson, general manager at Esquires, later found the emptied handbag in a bin in the café, and came up with the idea of chipping in to replace Wendy’s cash.

So far, almost £300 has been raised to replace the money she had withdrawn to do her weekly shop.

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This newspaper made Wendy aware of the kindness of Letchworth businesses, to which she said: “Thank you very much, it’s very nice of everybody to club together and think about our plight.

“I was dragging my trolley, as it is easier to pull it back, and I wasn’t looking. I really was annoyed with myself. I felt as if I had been violated, as your handbag also has all your private things in it.

“I just want to say how kind everybody has been to us, they are so kind. That has got us through this quite a lot. I’m thrilled everybody was so concerned about it, you don’t really expect that.”

“They are such lovely people in Letchworth and we will keep on shopping there!”

Letchworth BID manager Chris Wilson told said: “It’s so nice that at this moment in time, with the current situation, people remember it’s nice to be nice.

“All the businesses coming together to support this lady is the kind of community spirit that people should make out of situations like these.”

Police are investigating the theft, which happened between 11.45am and 12.15pm on Monday, October 12.

Enquiries are continuing and anyone with information is asked to contact police quoting reference 41/82069/20.


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