Home Handbags Robbery at Margate Cemetery as 80-year-old widow has her handbag stolen

Robbery at Margate Cemetery as 80-year-old widow has her handbag stolen

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An 80-year-old widow visiting her late husband’s grave has had her purse stolen by heartless thieves as they distracted her with a gory story.

The elderly victim had traveled to St John’s Cemetery in Margate to attend to the headstone when a middle-aged woman approached her with her car saying a headstone she was visiting had been vandalized.

Christel Clarke’s mother was targeted by absent-minded robbers at Margate Cemetery. Photo: Google Street View

The kind pensioner went with her to have a look, talking at length and offering advice. When they returned to the parking lot, however, she heard a man shout “I understand” before seeing him flee.

The woman then told the elderly widow “my husband is upset”, before also fleeing.

The victim’s daughter, Christel Clarke, said: ‘My mum then went to my dad’s grave and didn’t realize until she got back to the car that his bag was gone .

“It’s shocking. My mum is very pragmatic and said she was just grateful she wasn’t hurt. She said ‘it’s only £10 and an old phone is gone’ but that’s not the question.

“She’s a tough old chap, but she’s been pretty shaken up and I know she’s feeling nervous.

Christel Clarke
Christel Clarke

“I haven’t had a conversation with her about whether she’s ready to go back. I don’t think I would let her go alone.

“The times she usually goes I’m at work, so I would ask her if she could go with a friend, at least the first two times, to make her feel comfortable.”

Ms Clarke says her mother visits her father’s grave every other day and she would feel happier if there were CCTV cameras there.

“I was looking to find out if there was CCTV at the cemetery and found the story of a man who went to MP Roger Gale to ask for it to be put in place after graves were vandalized “, she said.

“That’s something I would love to see happen.”

Christel Clarke's mother was targeted by absent-minded robbers at Margate Cemetery.  Photo: Google Street View
Christel Clarke’s mother was targeted by absent-minded robbers at Margate Cemetery. Photo: Google Street View

Ms Clarke says she cannot believe the thieves would stoop so low that they would prey on the grieving and vulnerable.

“It’s the lowest of the low,” she said.

“One of the reasons we wanted to go to the police and make this public is to prevent it from happening again and to warn people to be vigilant.”

Ms Clarke says her mother gave a good description of the woman, who she said was aged between 55 and 60, stocky, with blonde hair in a bun and wearing a white cardigan and colored shirt.

The man was around the same age and she saw a black car drive off.

The incident happened on Wednesday, May 25, between 4 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

A spokesperson for Thanet District Council said: ‘We are sorry to hear of this incident and sympathize with anyone who has been victimized by crime.

“We have installed CCTV cameras at Margate Cemetery, primarily focused on coverage of the crematorium building and we monitor these cameras from our main CCTV control room.

“There are currently no plans to increase the level of CCTV coverage at Margate Cemetery, but we will continue to monitor the situation.”

The spokesperson said that victims of crime can receive advice and support through the Thanet Community Safety Partnership.

The police were also asked to react.