Photo Released of Man Suspected of Stealing Handbag from Church

Taken as a 90 year old local resident was attending Mass


Chiswick Sexual Assaults Investigation Reaches Dead End

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A CCTV image of a man suspected of stealing a bag from an elderly woman in a Chiswick Church has been released by police. The handbag was taken as she was attending a Mass on Ash Wednesday (February 18th) last week.

suspect in st nicholas church handbag theft

The incident happened at St Nicholas Church at around 8.30 pm while the victim was attending the 8pm Sung Mass and Imposition of Ashes.

The woman had left her bag on her seat while she approached the Altar and the man, who had been in the Church, grabbed it and ran from the building.

The woman, who is aged in her nineties, was very distressed. Her bag contained her house keys as well as car keys and other items. The victim and others from the Church searched the local area and found the bag and the woman's personal belongings on the street. A quantity of cash had been taken from her purse.

The Rev Andrew Downes, who was presiding during the Mass, described the crime as "despicable".

"This would be a dreadful thing to do at any time of the year but to come into a House of God during Lent and do this to a 90-year old woman, is just despicable".

He said they had received many messages of support from the community who are horrified at the crime.

The suspect was caught on CCTV entering the church and sitting at the back, before taking the victim's bag and leaving.

He is described as a black man, approximately 30 years of age and 6ft tall. He was wearing blue jeans, white trainers and was carrying a bag.

Anyone with information about the identity of the suspect is asked to call the police on 101, or to remain anonymous, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

February 25, 2015