75-year-old’s handbag snatched on church steps

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A THUG snatched an elderly woman’s handbag and forced her to the ground as she walked to her local church to attend a Christmas evening service.

Nancy MacCormack, 75, was on the steps of the Thomas Chalmers Parish Church Centre, in Kirkliston, when the man pulled at her bag, causing her to fall to the ground.

The OAP, who has a heart condition, was checked out at the scene and then went to hospital the next day, although she was not badly injured.

Ms MacCormack’s son, Stuart, said the incident, which left his mum shocked and shaken, was “despicable”.

He said: “She was going into the church for a Christmas event when it happened. Her handbag was taken and all the contents, such as her money, bank card and keys.

“She was on the wrong side of the path – if anyone else had been walking there it would have been them.

“She didn’t have a good night after it happened so she went to the hospital for a check-up, but she’s fine. There were people with my mum but it was very, very quick. I’m very shocked and angry, and the main concern for my mum is that her house keys have gone.

“The fact somebody could do that at this time of year and in that location is despicable. It’s not a big place and it’s not somewhere known for that sort of crime.”

Lothian and Borders Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward, after the incident at around 7pm on Wednesday night in The Square, Kirkliston.

The thug is believed to have run away towards the nearby cemetery as a member of the public helped Ms MacCormack. Her empty bag was later found on Bowling Green Road.

The robber is described as white, in his teens and wearing dark clothes and a hat.

A police spokesman said: “The elderly victim was not injured, but she was understandably shaken and we are keen to hear from anyone who was in the area and witnessed the theft.

“Similarly, anyone with information that can assist with our investigation is also asked to contact police immediately.”

Anyone with any information can contact Lothian and Borders Police on 0131-311 3131.