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Elderly are being targeted on pension days, says victim of shop theft

74-year-old’s bag of treasured possessions was stolen inside Archway store

27 April, 2018 — By Emily Finch

William Deasey outside the Co-op store in Archway, where he believes his bag was stolen, along with his wallet and keys

A PENSIONER whose bag of treasured possessions was stolen while he was out shopping has warned that thieves are cruelly targeting elderly people on the day they pick up their pension.

William Deasey, a former “mod prince” who clashed with rockers on Brighton beach in the 1960s, said his bag with his wallet and keys was stolen from the Co-op supermarket in Archway on Monday.

The 74-year-old, who lives in sheltered housing off Junction Road, believes thieves are targeting OAPs on Mondays and Tuesdays because that is when they receive their cash.

“I want to warn people because the thief could get away with it again. I’ve heard that a lot of old people are being targeted at the moment in Archway,” he said.

He added: “I was looking at the reduced section and then turned to get some butter from the fridge. That’s when I think they took it out of my trolley.”

Mr Deasey’s keys and wallet, which contained irreplaceable photos and phone numbers of his friends, was in his stolen grey shoulder bag alongside around £90 in cash.

Mr Deasey has posted notices up in Archway, urging the thieves to return his things

“I looked in all the bins around the station in case they dumped my things after taking the cash but I couldn’t find anything. I fell on the floor because I have a bad back – the doctor already says I have a seven out of 10 chance of being stuck in a wheelchair,” he said.

Mr Deasey praised the police officer who investigated the theft after she purchased his shopping for him which he had left behind the counter at the Co-op when he noticed his bag was missing.

“I went home and called the police. They took a few hours to come but the female police officer was wonderful. I told her she didn’t have to pay for my shopping but she said, ‘no no no no’. What a really nice officer,” he said.

A text sent to Mr Deasey by the officer investigating the theft informed him that CCTV footage proved “negative” and the case would not be investigated further because there were no witnesses or forensic evidence.

“I want people to look in their gardens in case my bag was thrown in there. I want my phonebook and photos back,” he said.

Mr Deasey blamed the recent spate of closures of crown post offices for pensioners being targeted in Archway. Pensioners can only receive their payments from crown post offices and not franchise stores.

“The thieves know we get our state pension in cash from Archway post office because it has a lot of bus stops nearby. A lot of old people can get here easily. The thieves follow us elderly people and steal our bags,” he said.

Anyone who finds a grey shoulder bag, a wallet featuring a cartoon with the caption “does my bum look big in this?”, or photos of a pet dog in Archway can contact the Tribune by emailing or call 020 7419 9000.


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