Royston pensioner appeals to thieves to return precious photo of late husband after bag stolen from mobility scooter

Police are investigating.

Police are investigating. - Credit: Archant

A pensioner who rides a mobility scooter is appealing to thieves who stole her handbag to return a precious photograph of her late husband that’s she’s carried in her purse for 25 years.

Jennifer Watson was in Store 21 in Royston High Street on Thursday, and she thought her purse was safely stored away at the bottom of the basket at the front of the scooter.

The 78-year-old said: “I hadn’t used my bag, but was looking around the shop.

“I went to the counter to pay for my goods and saw I didn’t have it.

“I don’t know how they knew it was there.

“Within a few minutes of finding out I went to the bank and cancelled my cards.”

Despite having cash and cards stolen, the thing that really angers Jennifer is that a lovely photograph of her late husband Alfred on holiday was taken.

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She said: “It’s a good job I have got a good strong heart. I have been carrying the photo around with me for 25 years.

“I’m most upset about the photo, as it can’t be replaced. It’s a terrible feeling, it really is, but it’s happened and I can’t do anything about it.”

Jennifer, who has lived in the town for 45 years, would like to warn others to be vigilant when out and about, especially as Christmas approaches.

Her daughter said: “My mother was devastated to have lost her treasured photograph of my father who died in 1991 – this has hurt her deeply.

“We are told this type of theft is common in Royston.

“I would like to say to the person who stole from a vulnerable, unwell, partially blind pensioner who cannot walk unaided, that they really should reconsider their lifestyle.

“If they have any decency left in them at all please can they return the photograph of my father by sending it to the police station, it may make up for some of the damage they have done to this elderly lady who has done them no harm.”

A police spokeswoman said: “The theft happened between 1.30pm and 2pm on Thursday, September 10.

“An unknown number of offenders removed the victim’s handbag which was in the basket of her mobility scooter while she was shopping in the store.”

If you have any information, you can contact police on the non-emergency number 101, quoting crime reference number G4/15/642.

You can also call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 11 and your information could earn a reward.

There’s comprehensive advice on how to avoid being a victim of a pickpocket or other thief on the Herts police website – visit and select ‘crime prevention’ in the main menu.