Support for 92-year-old Betty Codlin floods in after purse snatching by teenager

By Alice Lock -
4 comments

Heartfelt Facebook messages, donations and gifts from around the country have been flooding in for the elderly victim of a daylight robbery.

Betty Codlin, 92, was left shaken after a teenager approached her and stole her wallet, as she walked home from Countdown last Friday.

"He just asked if I had any money and that he wanted $2 towards petrol. Of course I knew I had $2 in my purse. Like a fool, I opened it up in front of him. There was $100 in there and he could see the note sticking out and he just grabbed it," Mrs Codlin said.

It was not until it was too late that she realised he had also run off with her wallet.

"I lost all my cards, which I really need. Especially my gold card and taxi card, as I use it to get half price taxi rides to town and to the doctor."

The $100 she had in her wallet was saved for the mower man and gardener so one Hastings resident offered to do her gardening and mowing for free.

Mrs Codlin said she was overwhelmed by the support she had received and could not thank everyone enough.

"The lady across the road came over with a nice card and said if I ever needed anything she was there and my daughter in Auckland has had pages of messages for me."

Mrs Codlin also thanked those who have offered to walk with her to town but said she was determined to get back out there alone.

"I walked for the first time to Pak N Save yesterday and I was a bit nervous, so whenever someone walked behind me I would move to the side and let them go past but I knew if I did not get back out now I would never leave my house."

A Hastings resident who dropped off money at the Hawke's Bay Today office said she found it "heartbreaking".

"It just knocks people for six and I just hope Betty is able to recover from this," she said.

President of the Hawke's Bay Harley Motorcycle Club Shane Taylor said the club organised a meeting last night to discuss what they could do for her.

"We just want to show her that a lot of people are here to help, even the motorbike club, as we think it is disgusting that someone has done this," Mr Taylor said.

He said he could not understand why people did this sort of thing and asked where people's respect had gone.

Mrs Codlin was holding a positive mind and even managed to maintain a sense of humour.

"I just wish I was quick enough to tap him around the ankles so I could have put my walker on him and sat on it until the police arrived."

Police have still not located her wallet or the offender.

Mrs Codlin described the male as a well-spoken teenage boy who was dressed in a "bluey, white jacket with a hood attached to it".

"I just want to make the public aware that there are people out there doing things like this. I have two elderly neighbours who also walk to and from town and they would not be able to fight these "scumbags" off either."

She hoped the boy would be caught but as a believer in God said she was sure he would have something coming his way soon.

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