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Widow’s tears after thief steals handbag
THE daughter of a devastated widow whose handbag was stolen at a York club has pleaded with the thief to show a conscience and return treasured items.
Wilhelmina Clark, 82, of South Bank, York, has been left in floods of tears since the theft, which happened while she was selling bingo tickets at St Clements Working Men’s Club in Count De Burgh Terrace.
The bag contained a number of items of huge sentimental value, including her late husband Roy’s army badge from his time in Burma during the Second World War and their wedding photographs, said her daughter, Jude Withers. The bag also contained Mrs Clark’s birth certificate, heart medication and £90.
“It has upset her so much,” said Mrs Withers. “She has been in floods of tears. I am not concerned about the money but would just ask for the thief to show a conscience and return the sentimental items, perhaps to the club or to The Press.
“My mother is on the club committee and had been going round selling bingo tickets when the bag was taken. She had left it on her chair so the thief would have known it belonged to an elderly lady, and if I could catch him I would throttle him!
“There were quite a few strangers in the club on Saturday night after the race meeting – affiliated members – and one of them may have been responsible.
“But there was a party of racegoers from Sunderland there who showed the other side of human nature when they heard what had happened – they had a whipround and gave her £50”.
North Yorkshire Police said officers were called at about 9.50pm on Saturday following reports a handbag had been stolen from the club.
“The blue leather handbag containing cash, keys and photographs was stolen after the elderly victim, who is a regular at the club, had left it unattended on a chair,” said a spokesman.
“Officers are appealing to anyone who witnessed the theft or has any information about the incident to come forward.
“This was a cruel theft which has caused great distress to the victim as she had some very personal, sentimental items in her bag.
“Anyone who saw any suspicious behaviour either inside or in the area of St Clements Working Men’s Club on Saturday night is urged to phone police on 101 or contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”