Edinburgh crime: Woman loses the 'last piece' of her late best friend at charity event

A young woman who had her purse stolen at a local charity event in Edinburgh says she has lost a “treasured” picture her late friend gifted her before she died.

Abigail Charlton had her purse stolen on Sunday (September 4) from Bar 50 on Blackfriars Street where students had come together with Edinburgh Collective to raise money for a range of causes.

The 20-year-old had planned to cut her hair off to fundraise for a range of charities, but mainly as a tribute her late friend Emily Moore, who she lost just two years ago to suicide.

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Emily had been battling with mental health for four years, but died in February 2020 when she had just turned 18. Friends and family set up the charity ‘Emily’s gift’ to help save future young people suffering in silence with mental health.

Abigail Charlton after she cut her hair off at local charity event

After six months of organising the event, at 6pm, Abi realised her bag – containing her ID, bank cards, cash, panic alarm, perfume and her most ‘precious’ photo that Emily gifted her before she died – was stolen.

The police were immediately informed of the theft and CCTV footage of the suspect was captured – but Abi says there have not been any updates since the report was made.

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She said: “Hopefully their only motive was money. But at the end of the day, all those things are replaceable, what I lost from Emily, I can’t get back.

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Abigail Charlton with Emily Moore before her death

"I’m in the process of getting everything back to normal but I won’t get that photo back that Emily gave me.”

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Abi continued: “It was there to remind me that I’m loved and things will look up but this person took part of her away from me. I’m really upset and angered by that. I want to hope that the police might be able to recover the items for this reason but I’m not sure.”

While the planned charity event had not gone as expected, Abi continued to champion her late best friend and went ahead as planned to cut her hair off for a diabetes, homelessness and mental health charities.

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She said: “At the moment, I’ve not heard anything happen to the person that stole my bag. I don’t even know if they’ve found him.”

The turn of events made Abi realise “how precious the little bits of Emily are '' and she said she has since “felt a deep sense of loss”.

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Overall no charity money was stolen from the event, but the whereabouts of the woman’s cherished photo continues to be unknown.

Police Scotland has been contacted for comment.

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