Thieves in Sheffield Aldi store pickpocket pensioner recovering from Covid-19

Two thieves pickpocketed a Sheffield pensioner recovering from Covid-19 while she was out food shopping.

By Steve Jones
Saturday, 10th April 2021, 6:27 pm
Updated Sunday, 11th April 2021, 2:03 pm

Sandra Oliver, 78, was in Aldi on Handsworth Road with her 80-year-old husband Harry at about 1pm on Saturday when two women stole her mobile phone from inside her coat pocket.

Store staff told Handsworth-based Sandra, who was unharmed, the theft was caught on CCTV. The police have been informed.

Sandra’s daughter Joanne Brown, 54, who also lives in Handsworth, said: “I’m absolutely fuming. I just want to get them by the throat. Why do they do this to the elderly, or anybody? It’s just not right.

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Sandra Oliver and her husband Harry pictured at their Diamond wedding anniversary.

"I’m trying to get my mum back right then someone goes and does this to her. How much more can she take? It’s just knocked her confidence down again, she didn’t want to go out anyway with Covid.”

Sandra, who had photos and videos of her grandchildren and great grandchildren on her phone as well as holiday snaps, was admitted to hospital with coronavirus in January and was close to being moved to intensive care due to breathing difficulties.

To make matters worse, Joanne’s husband Ian was also hospitalised by the illness at the same time then, one month later, her mum was readmitted to hospital with a blood clot on her lung following her vaccination.

Joanne, a care worker of nearly 20 years, said: "She’s not fully back to her normal self and her confidence is so low at the moment, so this was the last thing she needed.

From left: Ian, Joanne, Sandra and Harry.

“Photos and videos kept her going throughout lockdown because that’s what we would send her.

Police told the family they will visit the store to review the camera footage in the coming days. Joanne said she was not allowed to view the CCTV herself.

"If somebody stole off you, you should be able to look at it there and then,” she added.

“I’m disappointed with the police. I think they could have come straight up, they might have had a better chance of trying to catch them.”

Sandra has been told it will cost £130 to cancel her phone contract.

"I know my mum and I know this is going to knock her for six again,” said Joanne.

"She’s still not 100 per cent and trying to move on.”

An Aldi spokesperson said CCTV footage cannot be shared with anyone other than the police, if requested, because of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The Star has contacted South Yorkshire Police for comment.