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Pensioner robbed in Kilburn High Road two years ago: I have no peace of mind because no one was ever caught

PUBLISHED: 14:10 25 June 2018

Too afraid to be pictured: Mary McCarthy with the trolley from which thieves took £5,000. Picture: Sonia Zhuravlyova

Too afraid to be pictured: Mary McCarthy with the trolley from which thieves took £5,000. Picture: Sonia Zhuravlyova

Archant

A pensioner who was robbed of £5,000 two years ago while shopping in Kilburn High Road says the ordeal has left her afraid to leave the house – because no one was ever caught.

Mary McCarthy, 80, withdrew the money from Santander in Kilburn High Road on August 5, 2016. She believes it was taken out of her trolley by two women while she was shopping in the nearby Iceland supermarket.

“I was really in bits when it happened,” she said. “I had to go to the doctor, I was in such a state. They gave me some tablets. They helped a bit. But I no longer have peace of mind.”

Mary, who’s lived in Queen’s Park for more than 60 years, said it was the first time she had withdrawn such a large amount.

One of the women created a distraction by telling Mary she’d dropped coins on the floor by the till.

“I often do drop a few coins, so I bent down to pick them up,” she told the Times.

Thinking back to the day now, she says no one else could have taken the money.

Mary had withdrawn the cash to give some to her granddaughter, who was planning to buy a car. But when she got home, she realised it was gone.

“I have five or six bricks in the trolley to hold it steady as I have a bad back,” she said. “I hid the white envelope under the bricks. I think the women must have been watching me – they knew exactly where it was.”

The police took her statement on the day and also took away CCTV from Iceland showing the women, but so far no arrests have been made. Mary feels the case was put “on the back burner”.

“I know I won’t see the money again,” she said, “but I don’t want them doing this to someone else. They’re preying on elderly people.”

She added: “I want these criminals caught to maybe get some closure and be able to have a peaceful night’s sleep again.”

In a letter to the Met a year ago, seen by this newspaper, she wrote: “I still go to bed thinking about it and wake up frequently thinking about it, and I don’t go out very often any more.”

A Met spokeswoman confirmed there were no active leads.

“Officers have investigated all available lines of enquiry and at this time the investigation has concluded,” she said. “If any further information comes to light, this will be investigated.”

Not hearing again from the police has left her feeling frustrated. “I am too upset to be angry, but what can you do if the police can’t help you?” she said. “I have lost confidence in them. All I want is for the women’s pictures to be made public – someone could recognise them.”

Iceland said it could not release the CCTV to the Times.

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