Man held after £100 theft from gran, 84, in shop
A suspected thief was arrested - four hours after a community Facebook group led protests outside a shop where he is alleged to have stolen £100 from an 84-year-old grandmother.
Up to 20 residents staged a demonstration outside the Nisa local in Victory Avenue, Whittlesey, to highlight the fear of a second attack.
At least four others went to the house of the suspect and protested outside.
A police spokesman said: “A man in his 40s was arrested last night (Friday) on suspicion of theft.
“He has since been released under investigation while further enquiries are carried out.”
Colin Martin, who helps to run a Facebook discussion group in Whittlesey, said the group were “angry and disappointed” that the suspect had not been questionedd earlier.
It follows a theft at the Nisa branch of Nisa on Wednesday; the woman has told police she had her £100 weekly pension stolen.
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Earlier on Friday police had released CCTV footage of the alleged incident: that has now been withdrawn.
Mr Martin said “numerous” people had identified the suspect and passed on the information to Cambridgeshire Police.
He said community members had been concerned that nothing was being done to challenge the suspect.
“A number of people have got in touch to say their elderly relatives are frightened to go out until this man is off the streets.
“We feel let down by the police.”
The community, he said, had shown its support and care for the grandmother by raising more than £800 in 48 hours to support her.
“That’s amazing,” said Mr Martin.
He said it was a “peaceful protest” and no member of his group had identified any suspect.
“But this is our way of showing the police what we think,” he added.
Mr Martin said police turned up to their protest.
“They told us the officers involved had been on rest days and this was why they hadn’t responded earlier,” he said.
“This is simply wrong.”
Police confirmed they were continuing their investigation into the theft.
In addition to the £800, the gran has been promised a £25 voucher from Drink Shack, two carvery meals from the Falcon Hotel, a makeover from Wardleys and free travel to take her shopping by Luxicabs.