Theft leaves woman vulnerable

A TRIO of thieves who robbed a Toowoomba woman, 91, of her pension money has left her feeling vulnerable and forced her to be separated from her husband.

The woman was grocery shopping at Coles in Grand Central when the young women, aged 21, 18, and 15, stole her handbag from the shopping trolley.

The woman became extremely distressed when she became aware of the theft at the checkout and was unable to pay for her groceries.

She lost their entire fortnight's pension — $1300 — along with the couple's credit card, pension cards, identification cards and house keys.

Her son John Edwards, 63, travelled from his New South Wales home to help his mother.

She had been caring for her war veteran husband since he was left totally and permanently incapacitated after suffering a cerebral haemorrhage when he was 37.

The couple met at Port Moresby during the Second World War.

Mr Edwards said his mother was no longer able to care for her husband since the robbery on July 4. He has since been placed in an aged care home.

“It has left her confidence shattered. She is very distressed by it,” Mr Edwards said.

“It has made her feel very vulnerable.

“These people that did it — it is just so low.

“Stealing from elderly people — well it is bad doing it do anybody.

“But when they steal they don't know the circumstances of people.”

Mr Edwards said the process of replacing his parents' stolen cards was stressful.

However, he thanked the Coles manager who firstly let his mother take home the groceries without paying. When Mr Edwards contacted Coles a week later to organise payment, management would not accept money for the groceries.

“It was a very kind gesture on their part,” he said.

Mr Edwards, on his mother's behalf, also thanked security, police and the Chronicle readers who offered to pay for the groceries.

“Mum was very heartened by that,” he said.

Mr Edwards hopes the offenders are made to repay the stolen money and perform community service.

Police have charged a trio with stealing.

The 18-year-old woman will appear in court on Friday.

The 21-year-old woman will appear on Monday.

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