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Elderly couple meet black cabby who raised £2,000 after Bexleyheath Co-op purse snatch

PUBLISHED: 10:43 22 November 2017 | UPDATED: 11:03 22 November 2017

Roshan Varma gave Alan Smith the cheque for £2,000 at Bexleyheath Police Station on Tuesday

Roshan Varma gave Alan Smith the cheque for £2,000 at Bexleyheath Police Station on Tuesday

Archant

The 85-year-old victim had only just ventured out of the house as she receovered from a stroke

Mr and Mrs Smith's card to Roshan, and all the other people who donated to their causeMr and Mrs Smith's card to Roshan, and all the other people who donated to their cause

An elderly couple who were targeted by thieves while out shopping in Bexleyheath met the Good Samaritan who raised £2,000 to support them this week.

Doris Smith, 85, was recovering from a stroke when she visited the town’s Co-op in early October, but shocking footage shared by Bexley police showed thieves reaching into her trolley and taking her purse, which had £60 inside.

The footage, which has been viewed more than 3million times online, sparked a campaign from one black cab driver to help the pensioner and her husband, who was recovering from a fractured spine during the incident.

Roshan Varma said he felt “sickened” by the incident when he saw the footage, causing him to set up a GoFundMe page.

Alan Smith, Bexley borough commander Stuart Bell and Roshan Varma all met on TuesdayAlan Smith, Bexley borough commander Stuart Bell and Roshan Varma all met on Tuesday

On Tuesday, Mr Varma met with Mrs Smith and her husband Alan at Bexleyheath Police Station, where the London cabbie presented them with a cheque for £2,000.

Speaking to the Bexley Times afterwards, he said: “Speaking to the couple brought a tear to my eye, they told they’d be using the money to go to the Isle of Wight and it could be one of their last holidays, that left me a bit choked.”

The couple, who are both in their 80s, gave their Good Samaritan a card, which he shared online.

It read: “To Roshan Varma, our black cab Good Samaritan. To all those kind people who donated.

“We have been overwhelmed with the generosity and kindness from you all and wish to say a very big thank you.

“At a time when our lives are at a low ebb, it is good to find so many good and caring Good Samaritans who care in this world.

“With best wishes and thank you all. Doris and Alan”.

In turn, Bexley’s top police officer Stuart Bell gave Mr Varma the Borough Commander’s Commendation certificate.

Speaking after the event, the cabby said: “My mum’s already got the certificate up on her wall.

“But if I’m honest, this was a community success, I just clicked a few buttons to set up the webpage, it was the community that came and donated.

“I’m really happy the couple have taken the money to enjoy themselves with, rather than donate it to charity, they deserve it.”

Bexley Police thanked Mr Varma and the public for their generosity.

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