Pensioner dragged to the ground in robbery

PHOTO. KEVIN McGUINNESS.'The Post Office on New Hall Lane, Preston
PHOTO. KEVIN McGUINNESS.'The Post Office on New Hall Lane, Preston
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Police have appealed for witnesses after an elderly woman was dragged to the ground by a man who snatched her handbag and stole her pension money.

The 81-year-old victim collected the cash and bought a newspaper at New Hall Lane Post Office in Preston at around 11.10am on Tuesday, January 22.

Detectives believe the woman was followed out of the shop, next to Great Townley Street, by an attacker, who had earlier watched her withdraw her pension at the counter.

Det Sgt John Crichton, of Preston CID, said: “The lady was walking along the pavement with her handbag over her shoulder.

“She felt a tug on her handbag of such force that it caused her to fall to the ground on the right side of her body.

“She retained hold of the handbag and could see a man trying to take it.

“She was then overpowered by the man, who took the handbag and left her lying on the ground.”

The thief ran across the road in New Hall Lane, narrowly dodging approaching cars who had to brake suddenly to avoid hitting him.

But police said he was chased by at least one member of the public, including a tradesman, who had been sat eating a meal in a cafe across the road and saw the offender run off with the handbag.

The worker said he followed the suspect as he ran into Rigby Street, but he could not catch up with him, and when he got to the street he could no longer see him.

Det Sgt Crichton said: “We believe he might have disappeared into a house and we are looking to speak to any witnesses who might have seen that.

“We would also appeal for any witnesses who may have seen this incident or anyone with any information about it to come forward.”

It is believed two women were with the offender while he was in the Post Office.

Police have also linked the robbery to a second incident involving an elderly woman.

If you saw the man, or have any information about the incident that could help the investigation, call Lancashire Police on 101.

Alternatively call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or visit

A 36-year-old man, of no fixed abode, is accused of robbery and theft from a person.

He was remanded in custody by Preston Magistrates’ Court and will appear at Preston Crown Court next month.