Burnley residents rally round to help Christmas robbery victim (81)

HAPPY CHRISTMAS: Mrs Margaret Dugdale BX/29-12-11
HAPPY CHRISTMAS: Mrs Margaret Dugdale BX/29-12-11

CHRISTMAS was a little bit warmer for an elderly robbery victim after kind-hearted Burnley folk rallied round to help.

Widow Mrs Margaret Dugdale (81) was the victim of a cowardly theft when, after falling in the street, she was robbed of her purse by a man pretending to help her.

The callous robber took £200 which Mrs Dugdale had just drawn out to pay for food for Christmas.

But after reading about Mrs Dugdale’s ordeal, Burnley woman Miss Stephanie Forrest organised a collection through the Burnley Past and Present Facebook group, which raised £225.

An anonymous donation of £200 and gifts from Asda and Sainsburys saved Mrs Dugdale’s Christmas and restored her faith in humanity.

Speaking from her Burnley home, where she was born, Mrs Dugdale said: “I am so touched by the kindness of these people.

“When I fell over I thought the man was helping me, I never expected him to take my money. I was so upset but now I feel happy again as it proves there are some good people out there.”

Mrs Dugdale, who has no children, said the money had allowed her to buy presents for her niece and nephew, and food for her and her cat.

Miss Forrest said: “I was shocked when I heard what had happened to this lady and so soon before Christmas. I decided to organise a collection and we raised £225 so we’ve managed to give her a bit more than she lost, which I’m pleased about.”

Det. Sgt Charlie Haynes, from Burnley CID, said Mrs Dugdale was shaken up but unhurt from her ordeal. He also appealed for witnesses to the robbery.

The thief is described as a white man, of slim build, possibly in his 20s, wearing a dark hooded top with the hood pulled up.

Mrs Dugdale was walking along Burdett Street, when she fell to the floor at around 8 a.m. on Friday, December 23rd.

Anyone with information can contact Det. Sgt Haynes or DC Steve Acres at Burnley CID by calling 01282 472240. Alternatively, people can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or on-line at Crimestoppers-uk.org.