Handbag containing irreplaceable photographs stolen whilst owner pays respects at late parents’ grave

Date published: 20 March 2017

A woman has been left devastated after heartless thieves stole her handbag containing sentimental photographs and keyrings whilst she was visiting her late parents’ grave at Rochdale Cemetery.

Amongst the items taken on Monday 13 March were photographs of her late parents, keyrings, including one with a red bus and the name ‘Bill’ (the name of her late father), her purse containing a small amount of cash and two sets of keys.

David Pearson said: “My wife is terrified to leave the house in case they return when we’re out. She was scared to even go back to the cemetery.

“Only a few minutes after they drove off, a funeral service entered the cemetery, so the car must have been waiting for them or they wouldn’t have been able to get out.”

Mr Pearson was recovering from an operation in hospital when Mrs Pearson and her daughter were visiting the cemetery.

The window of their car was smashed and Mrs Pearson’s black handbag was taken from underneath the car seat. Her daughter’s pink handbag was left behind. Her daughter attempted to chase the thieves after witnessing the theft.

Mr Pearson described the handbag as a medium black handbag with short handles that was bought the week before for Mrs Pearson’s birthday by their daughter.

He added: “It looked like there were only two of them and they left in a red Volkswagen Golf, which I believe was stolen in the Bury area recently.

“I understand a similar incident took place last week at the cemetery too.”

The thieves attempted to use Mrs Pearson’s credit cards at McDonalds at Kingsway Retail Park later that afternoon at 1.19pm for £13.47 and again at Bargain Booze on Oldham Road for £2 at 2.40pm.

Mrs Pearson has cancelled her cards and the locks at the Pearsons’ home have been replaced.

A Greater Manchester Police spokesperson said: “Two unknown offenders threw a stone at the vehicle which shattered the glass on a window. They stole a handbag that was in the footwell of the car.

“They made off in a red Volkswagen Golf towards Rochdale.”

If anyone finds Mrs Pearson’s bag or the contents, Mr Pearson has requested that it be handed in at Rochdale Police Station.

Police are appealing for witnesses or anyone with private CCTV footage to contact them on 101 with crime reference number 062950A/17.

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