Sunderland OAP thanks strangers for donations after Metro Christmas cash theft agony

The bag theft happened on the Metro line between Pallion and Park Lane, in Sunderland city centre.
The bag theft happened on the Metro line between Pallion and Park Lane, in Sunderland city centre.

A Sunderland pensioner gifted cash by strangers after thieves ransacked her bag and stole money she had saved to buy Christmas presents has donated the funds to charity.

The 71-year-old had travelled between Pallion and Park Lane on the Metro when she left her bag behind as she picked up her shopping.

The money was stolen from this handbag after it was left on the Metro by a woman as she gathered up her shopping.

The money was stolen from this handbag after it was left on the Metro by a woman as she gathered up her shopping.

She alerted staff and the train was intercepted within minutes at Heworth.

The bag was handed in by two men, but when it was checked, around £375 was missing.

CCTV showed two young men walking through the train before sitting next to the bag and footage appears to show them looking through it.

British Transport Police (BTP) have appealed for information and urged those responsible to come forward.

If you are responsible, please come forward so that the victim can move on from this incident.

Pc Ian Hancox

But while they have had a “great response”, the men are yet to be traced.

It has emerged since the first call for help, people have rallied round to help the woman.

Pc Ian Hancox, of BTP, said: “Following the media coverage of this theft, a number of kind-hearted people have made donations to the victim via a Just Giving page set up by a member of the public.

“The victim was very touched by people’s generosity and has decided to donate the money to Cancer Research UK.

“I once again ask anyone who knows anything about this theft to come forward and speak to me.

“If you are responsible, please come forward so that the victim can move on from this incident.”

The victim, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: “My late husband died as a result of asbestos-related illness, so this charity is very close to my heart.

“When British Transport Police put out an appeal which was covered by the local press about my stolen money, I soon learned that many readers had made donations to make up the money I had lost.

“This generosity was very warming and really raised my spirits before Christmas. I wish to thank everyone who donated.”

The theft happened at around 1.10pm on Monday, November 14.

Both men are white and aged between 16 and 22.

One wore a black t-shirt with a print on the front, a red and black short-sleeved checked shirt and black trousers and the other has brown wavy hair, is stocky and was wearing a dark jacket, jeans and trainers and had a rucksack.

BTP can be called on 0800 40 50 40 or text 61016, quoting reference number 170 of 20/12/16.