Stolen money returned to 100-year-old tourist

Victim protects thief's identity

Updated: 
William White

A 100-year-old American tourist who was mugged in Gloucester has revealed that the thief has returned the money - and been forgiven.

Aviation millionaire William White, from Arizona, was visiting the city recently with his son Anthony, 70, when he had a fall. He was born in Gloucester in 1914, and wanted to revisit it before he died.

"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," Anthony tells the Gloucester Citizen.

"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 rest of the road."

Several people clustered round to help; and, in the confusion, the pair failed to notice that a passer-by had stolen Mr White's money belt.

The theft was reported to police - who say they plan to investigate - but the money was later returned, although Anthony won't explain when or how.

"The money did turn up. I believe whenever anything is taken and returned, that person should be completely anonymous," he says.

"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."

The Gloucester thief is by no means the first to be overcome by a fit of remorse. We recently reported on the case of Middlesbrough man Darren Green, who stole the contents of a collection box at a children's football academy. He returned the money the very next day.

Californian man Cyle Warren Abbott Jr had an even swifter conscience, handing back the cash he'd stolen from a petrol station within hours.

Indeed, it may even be worth appealing to the thief's better nature to get your property back, like Brighton nurse Eileen Remedios. When her bike was stolen in 2013, she stuck a note to a lamp-post asking politely for its return. It worked, and the bike reappeared - with "A great big fat...SORRY!"

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