A Romanian Big Issue seller stole £50 from a blind pensioner.
Jane Phillips, 66, although unable to read the magazine, wanted to give him £1 anyway so he could buy something to eat. But as she reached into her purse to give the man the coin, he snatched five £10 notes and tried to sneak away.
Nearby shoppers saw what was happening and kept Razvan Dumitru, 22, there until the police arrived. Hurrah for a ‘hue and cry’. Mind you they were lucky they weren’t all arrested for kidnapping him.
Apparently the same man had ‘half inched’ (pinched) money from her before but she had ‘turned the other cheek’ and offered him more money to show she had forgiven him.
She called for Dumitru – who is not homeless – to be deported, as it emerged that he has previous convictions for theft. He has also been banned from the supermarket in Sutton, South London, where the incident took place for shoplifting.
Miss Phillips lives with her twin sister Mary, who is also blind, and carries a white stick. She told the Daily Mail: ‘I had just left Morrisons when I heard a man say “Big Issue”, so I got out my purse and offered him a £1 coin.
‘I recognised his voice. I always give Big Issue sellers money – even though I can’t read the magazine.
‘There was a £5 note in my purse and I felt him take it. I asked him for it back and he put the note back, but then I realised he had taken five £10 notes from my purse. I started to cry and people came to help me.’
A passer-by saw what had happened and grabbed hold of the 22-year-old Romanian until police arrived at the scene. I wonder how long it was before the ‘Old Bill’ turned up.
Police said Dumitru, of Enfield, North London, initially denied taking the money and tried to run, but a passer-by held him until security staff and police officers took him into custody.
Public doing police work yet again.
Five illegal workers caught in Leyton
Officers visited Solis Laundry, Forest Business Park, Argall Avenue, at 13:30 on Tuesday 26th November. Officers arrested two Pakistani men, aged 24 and 25, who did not have permission to work and a 37-year-old Indian man who had entered the country illegally. A 24-year-old Pakistani man and an Indian woman, aged 36, who had both overstayed their visas, were also arrested. All five were transferred to immigration detention pending removal from the country.
Meanwhile in Surrey
Four illegal workers have been arrested following operations by officers in Woldingham and Banstead.
Acting on intelligence, officers visited Woldingham Village Stores, The Crescent, and Papa John’s, High Street, Banstead, on Wednesday 27th November.
At Woldingham Village Stores, which was visited at about 12:40, officers arrested two Indian men. They were aged 40 and 47 and had both overstayed their visas.
At Papa John’s, which was visited at about 14:35, officers arrested two men who were working in breach of their visa conditions. They were a 24-year-old Sri Lankan national and a Pakistani man, aged 26.
The 24-year-old Sri Lankan man was transferred to immigration detention pending removal from the country. The remaining three were placed on immigration bail giving them the chance to scarper and find illegal work somewhere else.