Elderly woman robbed
'It was this mongrel on his bike'ANNA WILLIAMS
An 89-year-old Blenheim woman is devastated a teenage boy snatched her handbag containing money for Christmas presents from the basket of her mobility scooter.
Isla Bray had gone into the Blenheim town centre on Wednesday to buy Christmas presents and to visit her doctor.
She has difficulty walking so on the four or five times a year she goes into town, she takes her mobility scooter.
After getting out $200 cash to buy presents for friends and family, she and her friend were near the intersection of Scott and Main streets when she felt a warm arm reach past her.
She turned around and saw the back of the teenager's head as he cycled away.
"It was this mongrel on his bike and he'd grabbed it," she said. "I was devastated. My head is still swimming."
She was so shocked she did not know what to do, she said.
"I just couldn't believe it. I was dumb. I couldn't do anything, I couldn't even think."
An elderly man who saw what had happened phoned the police.
The offender was identified on CCTV footage and a 15-year-old boy known to police was arrested at 5.20pm. Mrs Bray's bag, minus $210, was found on Stuart St near the Riverlands bike track yesterday afternoon.
"I just can't understand it," she said. "I never once thought this would happen."
She burst into tears while at her doctor's appointment but the doctor and the chemist did not charge her, nor did the cafe where she stopped to have a cup of tea.
"I never knew people were so caring in Blenheim. And I've lived here all my life."
It was also her first dealing with police and she cannot praise them enough.
"They were just fantastic; they really looked after me."
She cancelled her bank cards on Wednesday fearful her savings would be taken too. An officer took her to the bank yesterday to help her sort out new bank cards.
- The Marlborough Express