April 30, 2015

100-year-old U.S. tourist targeted by pick-pocket who stole £1,400 cash when he was visiting Gloucester has his money returned by thief with guilty conscience

A 100-year-old American tourist who was mugged of £1,400 after he fell over on a trip to the British city where he was born has had his money returned.
William White was visiting the UK with his son when the cash was snatched from a bum-bag he was wearing after he toppled over getting off a bus in Gloucester.
The crime caused shock in the South West city after the holidaymaker, an aviation millionaire from Arizona, reported the incident to police.
But Mr White has now revealed the thief later returned the money in an apparent crisis of conscience shortly before the father and son flew back to their home in Fort Mohave.

His son Anthony, 70, who also lives in Arizona and was with his father on the trip, said: 'In the US we have to have the sidewalks level, we don't allow them to be dug up and filled and all that, especially ones that are bus stops.
'We got off the bus, my dad had a four-wheeled walker. I went to the edge of this triangular step up to find out where he could wheel down.

 'He got a little impatient and started coming towards me. His front wheel hit the edge and went over and he had his weight on it. 

'It send him careening on his right side straight on to the road. Luckily he didn't hit the car that was parked there. But he did fall rather flat on his right side.
'I let him lay there for a minute and there was a crowd of about four people around him. I needed assistance to lift my dad up so I could get him sitting on the wheeler.
'When we were lifting him up the money belt that he had on came lose and it disappeared. I didn't observe any of that.
'I wasn't even concerned about the money. And then, for the next three days we realised there was no money.'
The tourist, who was visiting Gloucester where he grew up as part of a 'bucket list' trip, was carrying 2,700 dollars and £109 in cash when he fell over.
He is not revealing who gave the money back or how because he wants to protect the thief's identity. Mr White Jnr said the pair were very thankful.
He said: 'The money did turn up. I believe whenever anything is taken and returned, that person should be completely anonymous.
'Everything is fine. You don't want to punish a person. That would not be necessary. The nice thing was, dad ended up with his money back.
'We were shook up until we got it back. Even though my dad is very wealthy, you worry about the pennies.
'You have a lot and it is hard for him at his age to lose it. That shook him up, yes.
'I did not go to the police the first day that it was missing because I felt in a foreign country, you don't have much hope. '
Mr White and his son had spent £6,000 on the trip back to Britain and were visiting Gloucester for possibly the last time, as the retired plane developer becomes increasingly frail.


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