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Reepham grandmother loses ‘precious’ personal items in Dereham theft

PUBLISHED: 09:11 09 August 2017 | UPDATED: 09:11 09 August 2017

Amanda Owen, pictured with daughter Jennifer Oswick, and grandsons Alfie, 8, and Charlie, 4. Photo: Antony Kelly

Amanda Owen, pictured with daughter Jennifer Oswick, and grandsons Alfie, 8, and Charlie, 4. Photo: Antony Kelly

Archant Norfolk 2017

A grandmother from Reepham, whose family have raised thousands for a Dereham cancer charity, has been left devastated after a purse containing irreplaceable personal items was stolen in a shop.

Amanda Owen was browsing in a second-hand furniture shop on Nelson Place, Dereham at around 1.30pm on Sunday, August 6, when she realised her purse was missing from her handbag – after placing it there only minutes previously.

The pale pink purse contained Mrs Owen’s driving licence, MasterCard and House of Fraser gift cards, cash, and irreplaceable photographs of her parents. It also contained a handwritten note from Mrs Owen’s father, who passed away from cancer and inspired the family’s fundraising efforts for Dereham Cancer Care.

Mrs Owen, a mental health nurse, said: “it’s very sad that myself and my family fundraise for Dereham Cancer Care only to have my purse stolen within eyesight of this charity.

“I’m just very saddened. I never understood how anyone would feel, just missing something as simple as a purse, but it feels like a violation - someone putting a hand in my bag and taking something that is mine.”

She added: “My grandson Alfie fundraises nonstop all year round for the people of Dereham who suffer from cancer and whose families are affected by the illness. We spend every minute thinking of new ways to help this charity.”

Alfie has his own YouTube channel, ‘Awesome Kids Playz’, and fundraises for ‘Alfie’s Awesome Appeal’. He dreams of raising £1bn for Dereham Cancer Care, and was inspired to begin fundraising after his mother, Jennifer Oswick, was diagnosed with skin cancer when he was only four years old.

Mrs Owen said: “What hurts the most is that if this person wanted my money so badly, I would have given it to them, and I could have kept my precious personal items.

“Please make people aware of how easy it is to lose your purse or wallet to thieves, as it is very distressing.”

Mrs Owen reported the loss to the police, who are investigating it as a theft. They are appealing for information about one suspect: a white male in his 60s with short grey hair, who was wearing a navy polo neck shirt and dark trousers.

Anyone with information about the incident is requested to contact Norfolk Police on 101.

Read more:

Awesome Alfie launches fundraising appeal

Eight-year-old with £1bn fundraising dream Alfie Oswick will bring out the ball at East Anglian derby

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