KIND-HEARTED fundraisers have donated more than £2,000 to help a Second World War veteran and his wife whose life savings were stolen by burglars.
Thieves smashed a back door window at the couple’s home in Parkside, Darlington last month and escaped with £2,000 cash and sentimental jewellery.
After hearing about the despicable crime, online crowdfunding sites were set up by Darlington residents Stuart Allen and Richard Atkinson, and Adam Hosking, a sergeant with the Durham Police’s Special Constabulary.
So far, more than £2,300 has been raised and transferred into a secure account for the 93-year-old veteran and his wife, aged 89.
The couple, who wish to remain anonymous, wanted to thank those who set up and contributed to the crowdfunding sites.
“Our thanks must also go to our family, friends, neighbours, carers and officers from the local police who did a great job in settling us down. Thank you to everyone who has given us valuable help and support,” said the veteran.
Their daughter, Linda, added: “There are a lot of good people in Darlington and I am just so grateful to them for thinking of my mum and dad and trying to help in some way.
“The police have also been so supportive in the way they have handled everything.
“While there are some very good people in Darlington, there are also people who sadly commit burglaries. If the person who did this to my parents is reading this now – shame on you.”
Mr Allen, who served in the Army from 2011 to 2015, raised around £1,100 for the couple.
“This man fought in the Second World War and has done a lot for our country. As a former soldier myself, I wanted to do something to help him,” he said.
“I am over the moon we have helped to get his money back and I just hope he and his wife can get back to normal now. I hope it has shown them that there are some good people out there.”
Mr Atkinson and his friend, Andrew Green, helped to raise just over £1,000 for the couple.
“I felt two emotions when I heard what had happened – I was saddened but also angered by it,” he said.
“I thought if 99 of my friends donated £20 each, we could replace the stolen money. Andrew then decided to do the same thing and it went from there. The Albion pub on Yarm Road also allowed us to put a collection for them behind the bar.
“I just hope it shows them that there are some good people in Darlington.”
Mr Hosking, who served in the RAF, added: “After being in the forces myself and hearing that this man had been targeted by mindless criminals, I felt I needed to do something to help.”
Detective Constable Helen Hudson, from Darlington CID, said the response to the appeal had been overwhelming.
“It has restored our faith in humanity and shows there are good people out there who are willing to help,” she added.
“So far, we have not traced the burglars who committed the offence and would appeal for anyone with any information to get in touch.”
Sentimental jewellery that was stolen in the burglary has not been recovered. The items stolen were:
- Gold engagement ring with three diamonds in the band and 1947 stamp
- Gold anniversary ring with diamonds and rubies
- Gold dress ring from the 50s/60s
- Gold watch that belonged to victim’s mother
- Gold cameo necklace with a pink face
- Gold cameo ring
- Coral necklace
- Pearl earrings
- Engagement ring belonging to victim’s mother
The burglary happened between 2pm and 4.20pm on Thursday, June 8.
Anyone who has any information on the incident, or the whereabouts of the jewellery, is asked to call Durham Police on 101, quoting incident number 287 of June 8.