Three young people have been labelled ‘heroes’ by the public after they chased a thief who had stole an old woman’s purse.
Video footage of a woman who stole the purse of a 70-year old disabled woman - which cannot be shown due to undergoing investigations - has surfaced online after three young people witnessing her flee from a shop in St Helens town centre and chased her down.
Millie Jones, 17, was in the Hardshaw Centre with her boyfriend and friend at around 10.30am Monday morning (October 18) when they witnessed a lady being chased from Bonmarché by a store assistant and an older woman appeared from the shop crying.
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Millie said the elderly woman, who has been identified as Margaret Evaskicas, was shaking and crying as she tried to catch up to the thief.
The two boys, McKenzie Bolton, 17 and Adam Shaw, 22, chased the woman until they found her in an entry by B&M where they retrieved the purse and everything inside.
Millie told the ECHO: “We were walking through town outside of the Hardshaw Centre then saw someone take a woman's purse out her bag in Bonmarché and she ran off with it.
"The elderly lady came out crying and shaken.
“I stayed with her to make her feel okay and safe and my boyfriend ran after the women and got the purse back with all the belongings still in.
"[Margaret] tried to give my boyfriend some money after he took the purse back but he refused to take it because he would have done it for anybody else."
Once the purse had been recovered, Millie said the two boys headed towards the train station to continue their journey to Liverpool when they spotted the thief sitting in the waiting room of the station and they signalled the police to approach her.
Posting the video on Facebook, it has been met by a number of people applauding the 'heroes' who chased after the woman, including Margaret's daughter, Kelley Garth, who was directed to the post.
Kelley commented: “Thank you to you all for supporting my mum yesterday.
“The sad thing is if this scumbag had asked my mum for some money she would have given her, my mum volunteered for 3 years at the homeless shelter and gave so much.
“This delight was arrested but then faked illness to get to hospital. Probably a slap on the wrist for her.
“Thank god for her heros.”
Kelley told the ECHO that Monday's trip was Margaret’s first time in the town centre alone after returning home from hospital just four weeks ago after a recent heart attack and pneumonia diagnosis.
The incident has now left her "very scared" and doesn't want to go back into the town centre alone again.
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Kelley said: “She’d gone into Bonmarché and she was going to go and treat herself .
“She uses a mobility walker as she has a lot of disabilities so she has been carrying that round and this woman has been following her around - the shop assistant asked her whether the woman was with her and when my mum said no she said that she’d seen her just take her purse.
“The shop assistant ran out and it was at that point Millie, her partner and his friend gave chase to this scumbag.
“Me and my mum are just so grateful for Millie and her partner and his friend because without them she’d have lost her purse and lost everything.
“It’s really shaken her up because she's very independent considering she's got a lot of disabilities, she's always just gotten on with it and does her own thing and she shouldn't have to deal with this and having to watch everything all the time."
Kelley said that Merseyside Police are involved and have informed her that the woman is “well-known” to the local police and others in St Helens.
The St Helens woman explained that her mum is “one of the nicest people you will ever meet” and has previously volunteered at a homeless shelter for three years.
She said: “We can all have a hard time but the ironic thing is that my mum worked at the shelter in St Helens and if this girl had have just said to my mum ‘look I’m a bit down on funds’ my mum would have given her anything - she didn’t need to steal it.
“My mum would give anyone anything they needed.”
“To steal from somebody who is 70 and disabled is just the lowest you can get.
Kelley said that she is "thankful" for Millie, Mckenzie and Adam and believes they deserve recognition for their selfless act.
Kelley has said that the next steps should involve the woman to be given a permanentban from the town centre and the Hardshaw Centre.
A spokesperson for Merseyside Police confirmed a 55-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of theft from person and possession of a controlled drug Class C.
They said: "We had a call at 10.35am on Monday 18th October, that an elderly woman had had her purse stolen by a woman as she was shopping in the Hardshaw Centre in St Helens.
"She has been released under investigation pending further enquiries."