Pensioner left in tears after purse is stolen from city cafe

An 81-year-old women had her purse stolen in Caffè Nero on June 8.

An 81-year-old woman had her purse stolen in Caffè Nero on June 8. - Credit: Francis Redwood / Charlotte Toye

A vulnerable woman who nipped into a coffee shop for a cuppa was left in tears after her bag was stolen from under her nose.

Marion Harman, who lives in Eaton, visited Caffè Nero in Gentleman's Walk on June 8 to get a drink before catching her bus at 3pm.

But little did she know that she was being targeted by a quick-fingered thief.

The 81-year-old said: "I sat down with my coffee, put my purse down for a second to check something in my shopping bag and then it was gone.

Marion Harman, 81 who lives in Eaton, had her purse stolen.

Marion Harman, 81 who lives in Eaton, had her purse stolen. - Credit: Charlotte Toye

"Somebody must have had a close eye on me because it happened so quickly.

"It's hard to not blame yourself but I felt really down about it.

"I felt like I wasn't paying close enough attention to my things but I didn't think it was something I had to worry about in all honesty.

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"You just don't ever expect something like this to happen to you."

Marion's granddaughter, Charlotte Toye from North Earlham, found about her nan's ordeal later in the day.

Caffé Nero in Norwich, in Gentleman's Walk.

Caffé Nero in Norwich, in Gentleman's Walk. - Credit: Francis Redwood

The 24-year-old said: "Nan called me and was crying down the phone to me about it.

"It's disgusting. I can't believe that someone would do such a thing - especially to an 81-year-old.

"And it's not just the money - there was a lot of sentimental stuff in the purse - including photos of all her grandchildren.

"Now it's all gone and it's made her really upset.

"I think elderly people are targeted much more because of how vulnerable they can be and it makes me sick."

Marion Harman, 81, and her grand daughter, Charlotte Toye, 24.

Marion Harman, 81, and her granddaughter, Charlotte Toye, 24. - Credit: Charlotte Toye

Unfortunately for Marion there doesn't appear to be any evidence of the theft.

Marion added: "I contacted Caffè Nero but their CCTV only covers certain parts of the store and no one else in the shop saw anything."

Caffè Nero has been contacted for comment.

She continued: "So I called the police on 101 and they couldn't help because there wasn't any evidence.

"I've had to cancel all my cards and get replacements.

"Unfortunately it seems to be the way of the world right now.

"I think I'll just have to put it down to a bad experience."