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Thief distracts couple at Dorking Sainsbury's by shouting 'Potatoes, potatoes'

By Dorking Advertiser  |  Posted: November 22, 2012

By Sam Blackledge sam.blackledge@essnmedia.co.uk

  • Hilary Brown's elderly father and stepmother were targeted by thieves in Sainsbury's in Dorking

  • Hilary Brown's elderly father and stepmother were targeted by thieves in Sainsbury's CRDC20121119B-001_C Photo by David Cook

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AN elderly couple were targeted by a thief in a town centre supermarket.

Hilary Brown's 90-year-old father and 88-year-old stepmother were shopping at Sainsbury's in Dorking High Street when they were approached by a man who was "jumping up and down" and shouting.

Mrs Brown said: "He had a strange voice, it could have been foreign.

"He was white with fair hair, a stocky build and aged between late 30s and early 40s.

"He came up to my father and distracted him by jumping up and down and saying 'potatoes, potatoes' and 'swedes', saying all these vegetable names.

"My father thought 'you're a bit strange' but thought nothing of it and carried on shopping.

"But later they were round in another section of the shop and he came up to them again and did the same to my stepmother and started pushing my father.

"Later my father realised that his wallet had been taken out of his back pocket and my stepmother's purse had been taken out of her handbag, which was in her bag hanging on the back of the trolley.

"He must have unzipped her bag, taken it and zipped it back up."

The pair lost about £200 in cash, along with credit cards and a driving licence.

Mrs Brown, 59, of Nutwood Avenue, Brockham, said: "What really incensed me was that my father has a heart condition, my stepmother has had a stroke and to target these elderly people I think is wicked."

She added: "The purse that was stolen was the last present my stepmother received from her daughter before she died of cancer, so it cannot be replaced.

"Where has respect for the elderly gone? I hope this person cannot sleep at night for what he has done."

A police spokeswoman said: "The incident took place around 11.30am on November 13.

"A black leather purse and a black leather wallet containing in total around £200 in cash were taken during the incident.

"A description of the suspect was quickly circulated to officers in the area following the report in a bid to locate them.

"Officers from the Mole Valley Safer Neighbourhood Team have provided reassurance and advice to the victims, and urge anyone with information to contact them."

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101.

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