A 93-year-old war veteran says ‘I will not be taken for a ride’ after chasing robber down Newmarket street

Old Station Road, Newmarket.

Old Station Road, Newmarket. - Credit: Gregg Brown

A 93-year-old woman who chased a thief 350 yards down a Suffolk street after having cash stolen has spoken of her anger at the incident.

A 93-year-old woman who chased a thief 350 yards down a Suffolk street after having cash stolen has spoken of her anger at the incident.

The war-time nurse, who has asked to remain anonymous, tore after the female thief after she was targeted in Old Station Road, Newmarket, last week. She eventually lost the assailant near The Gallops.

The woman made off with £60 from her purse, as well as a card holder.

But the victim, who described herself as “very tough”, said she was not fazed by what had happened.

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She said: “I was collecting some pictures and I was putting them in the boot of the car and she could see I was busy at the framers.

“She said ‘can you help me with some money to give to charity’ and I said ‘well, I can’t give much’ and she said ‘I don’t mind how small if you give it to me’. So I gave her some and as I handed it to her she knocked my hand and knocked my purse out of my hand.

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“And in my purse was £60, plus I had a little folder which contained cards for different shops.

“She ran to the right and I kept on following her and there were a whole load of houses and she just disappeared in and among the houses.

“I ran as best as I could, and I was carrying my handbag.

“She must have been thinking it was a great joke. She knew exactly where she was going.”

She added: “I was just angry to think she dared do that.”

Despite contracting polio at the age of three, which affected her left side, she has had - and still enjoys -an active life.

“Age doesn’t seem to worry me,” she said. “Sometimes I think I’m not as active as I was.”

During the Second World War, the victim was a nurse with The Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) before signing up to join the Royal Air Force (RAF).

She had wanted to be a pilot, but was told she could not fly as she was too short.

Instead, she took up a position with Fighter Command at group headquarters at Uxbridge, before a commission took her to Bomber Command, and finally Balloon Command and Transport Command.

“We took out supplies and brought back the wounded,” she said. “I saw the boys during the war and they were so young and so brave. I never saw them complain. Ever.”

The veteran, who lost many friends during the war, said the war had helped her to be so resilient.

Returning to the robbery, she said: “I don’t like being taken for a ride. She [the thief] was so clever. She turned and ran and I went after her. I was so shocked anyone could do that.”

The robbery happened on Thursday, August 6, near the Clock Tower in Old Station Road.

Anyone with information should contact Newmarket CID on 101 quoting reference NE/15/1348 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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