Monmouth war veteran, 93, ‘disgusted’ as thieves steal wallet
A DECORATED war veteran who was the victim of a distraction theft in Monmouth town centre has branded the thieves as “despicable”.
Alick Edwards, 93, had just been to Lloyds TSB, on Monnow Street with his companion Joan Robins, 82, when his wallet containing £500, a house key and credit cards were stolen.
Mr Edwards, of Monmouth, had withdrawn the cash to pay for building work to his house and then walked along Monnow Street minutes before the theft happened.
He said: “I walked with some difficulty and using a stick following a fall. Joan and I were browsing in Marks & Spencer when a couple approached her and pressed a £2 coin in her hand but didn’t say anything.”
“Joan assumed she wanted her to exchange it for two £1 coins but she didn’t have any and referred her to me.”
“As she was doing this the man tapped my chest and I told him to stop or I would hit him with my stick.”
“She was obviously distracting us because when we left the store to go into Waitrose, I realised my wallet was missing.”
Mr Edwards recalls seeing the man in a queue in the bank and believes they were followed into the store.
He said: “Things don’t normally upset me. I am usually calm but this did and I feel angry.
“I could have dealt with him if I had known what he was doing.
“When you join the marines you are either fighting or training in self-defence and never forget it.
“I would have had him on the ground with my foot on him and held him until the police came.”
The great-grandfather of four served in the Royal Marine Commando for nine years during which time he saw action in the Far East, Africa, Egypt and India during the World War II and was awarded the Burma Star, the Africa Star, the 1939-1945 Star and Royal Marines Badge.
Mr Edwards, who worked for ICI at Mamhilad until his retirement, said: “They are despicable. Apart from what I lost, it cost a lot of money to replace the lock.
Ms Robins added: “It was a terrible shock and I am disgusted this has happened. It does make me a bit nervous to go shopping now.”
She described the couple as smartly dressed, tall and about 45 to 50 years old with foreign accents. The man was wearing a white jumper with white stripes.
Gwent Police is investigating the incident, which happened between 2.45pm and 3pm on July 22.
Anyone with information is asked to call 101 and quote log number 403 22/7/13.
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