A PENSIONER has been left heartbroken after a cruel thief snatched her bag containing sentimental rings and cash.
Cecilia Boyd’s engagement and eternity rings, which she received from her beloved husband Anthony more than 50 years ago, were in the bag when it was taken from Lidl, in Peterlee.
There was also £300 cash which the 72-year-old was hoping to use for decorating her home, an old diary with telephone numbers of her nearest and dearest, and a pair of glasses.
The retired kitchen assistant says she was in the Essington Way store when she put her bag down to pick up some bread and then walked on, forgetting to pick it back up.
A short time later she realised what she had done and went back to retrieve the brown leather bag, but it was nowhere to be seen.
Devastated Cecilia, a mum-of-three, grandmother-of-six, and great-grandmother-of-three, said: “For a whole week after it had happened I couldn’t even talk to the family.
“I just wanted to be sick. The thought of how someone can do this is just awful, especially to older ones.
“The thought of someone just walking off with my bag from that shop and then to keep it knowing what was in it, it’s just terrible.”
She added: “I was with my husband, we only went in for a couple of things so I didn’t get a trolley. I have a stick and I was looking at the bread.
“I put my bag and the stick down and then I picked my stick up but didn’t pick my bag up. I went a bit further down and thought ‘oh my bag’.
“Some shop assistants helped me look for it, but it was gone.”
Cecilia said she felt sick to the stomach when she realised her rings and cash were also in the bag.
“I couldn’t believe it,” said Cecilia, of Grampian Drive.
“I didn’t have my rings on because sometimes my fingers swell. The last time I’d had them on was Saturday night and then I’d put them in a little box and in my bag.
“I wish I hadn’t now. We’ve been married 52 years so the engagement ring will be 54-years-old. It’s horrible to think I’ve had them all this time, and now they’re gone.”
Cecilia’s engagement ring is gold with three round diamonds sitting on platinum shoulders, and the eternity ring is gold with small round diamonds set all the way around the band. There was also a silver dress-ring with a square blue stone in the bag as well.
Pc Neil Johnson, of Peterlee Police, is investigating the incident, which happened at 1.30pm on Wednesday, May 2, and has urged anyone with any information about who is responsible, or if they are offered the rings for sale, to contact officers.
He said: “This lady was momentarily distracted for a minute and when she’s looked around her bag had been removed which contained items of great sentimental value. If anyone has any information I’d ask them to ring police straight away.”
Anyone who can help in the investigation should contact PC Johnson on 101.