A PENSIONER who experienced the kindness of strangers after having hundreds of pounds stolen has said: “I’m starting to believe in miracles.”
Retired caretaker Tony Lamb, 81, lost £600 he had been saving for a holiday after being targeted by a woman who offered to help him with his shopping at Asda in Killingbeck, Leeds.
But he has now received a large amount of money back after an online fundraising campaign was launched to help him.
Mr Lamb, who lives off Wykebeck Valley Road in Gipton, said: “I’m starting to believe in miracles, I really am.
“This has made me realise there are some good people in this world. Not everybody is out to get something for themselves.”
Mr Lamb was on his mobility scooter in Asda on September 12 when a woman helped him get something from a shelf that was out of reach.
She then offered to help take the shopping back to his flat but, once there, sneaked inside and snatched his wallet and a jar containing cash before escaping.
Mr Lamb, who lives alone and had been saving up to pay for a trip to the United States to see his brother, said: “I didn’t realise she was going to be a bad Samaritan.
“If there’s a hell, she won’t even be allowed inside.”
After finding out about the incident, Diane Moore, 47, from Crossgates, who had never met Mr Lamb, set up a page on the Go Fund Me website to try to replace the money he had lost.
She said: “I lost my grandfather earlier this year and I just thought, this could have been him.
“I would hope someone would have done the same for my grandfather.”
Miss Moore has now handed over the money raised so far - along with some shopping donated by Asda.
She added: “This has knocked Tony’s confidence but hopefully this has made him realise there are people who care.”
Police are still looking for the thief.
Acting Sergeant Natasha Tierney, of the Leeds inner east neighbourhood policing team, described the incident as “traumatic” and appealed for anyone with information to come forward urgently.
She said: “This woman clearly targeted the elderly victim as someone who appeared vulnerable and her actions are utterly despicable.
“The incident has had a very traumatic impact on the victim and he is still coming to terms with what happened.”
Anyone with information should call PCSO Victoria Kelly via 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.