Handbag stolen from poppy seller

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A heartless thief stole an 83-year-old woman’s handbag as she sold poppies in Ilkeston town centre.

The pensioner was standing selling the poppies on behalf of the Royal British Legion in the foyer of the Co-op on South Street when the man grabbed her bag at around 9.51am on Thursday October 30.

A spokesman for Derbyshire Police said: “A man who had been hanging around went into the foyer and grabbed the handbag which was on the ground. It was a cream handbag with a monkey pendant on it. He then ran off down South Street.”

Malcolm Jarvis, chairman of the Royal British Legion in Ilkeston, said the woman, from West Hallam, had been left shaken by the incident and did not want to continue to sell poppies.

He said: “We have lots of poppy sellers and I have warned them all.

“We have never had a problem before. Ninety nine point nine per cent of people in Ilkeston wouldn’t think of doing that - there is a code of conduct.

“Needless to say I am not very happy.”

He said the couple, who have volunteered as poppy sellers in previous years, had been left very upset by the incident and were being comforted.

The thief is described as white, in his late 20s and ‘unkempt’. He was possibly wearing a green jumper.

Anyone with information should call police on 101.