Thief snatched cash meant for OAP’s care home costs

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A robbery victim who had £250 snatched from her at an Ilkeston cashpoint has revealed that the money had been set aside to pay her elderly mum’s care home costs.

Ann Toplis said her attacker “appeared out of nowhere” before grabbing the notes and running off “like an Olympic sprinter”.

The money she had withdrawn was a week’s worth of cash she pays for the care of mum Jean Steeples, 81.

The robbery took place at the Tesco store in Rutland Road, Ilkeston, and police have scoured CCTV in a bid to help trace the robber, whom they believe had an accomplice.

Mum-of-two Ms Toplis, 55, of West Hallam, said: “It all happened so fast.

“The money came out and then all I saw was a flash of red and the money was snatched away,” she said.

“I turned round and he was off across the road and down a jitty. I’ve never seen anyone move so fast.

“It angers me because this is money used to pay for the care of my mother.

“But there is also a sense of relief that it wasn’t worse because, two seconds later, I could have had the money in my hand and struggled with the lad.

“He may have had a knife for all I know.”

The robbery took place at 6.40pm on Monday January 13.

Ms Toplis, of Whilton Crescent, stopped at the cashpoint to withdraw the money as she returned home from her job at the Eon business call centre in Nuthall, Nottingham.

She withdraws the money from her mother’s bank account and then pays it into her own before her mum’s bill is paid by direct debit.

Ms Toplis, who has daughters Victoria, 25, and Alexandra, 22, said the money had just been dispensed when a hand appeared over her shoulder and snatched it.

She said: “I turned around and there was a second man behind me.

“I said to him, ‘That lad has just stolen my money’, and he said he would chase him.

“But then he disappeared, too. We think he was an accomplice who might have been there to help the lad if there had been a struggle.

“You hear about people cloning your card and skimming it but you don’t expect to have money snatched from you at a cashpoint like this.

“This could have been a little old lady that these men robbed. I’m a strong and fit woman but it is still quite scary and annoying.

“I just want to warn people that this sort of thing is happening.”

Police have appealed for anyone with information to come forward.

A spokesman said: “The men ran off down a jitty at the Granby Street junction with Cotmanhay Road.

“One was wearing a red baseball cap, a brown jacket and dark trousers. The other had a light-coloured hooded top on with the hood up.”

Anyone who can help police should telephone 101.