A heartbroken mum said a thief "has stolen Christmas" after her purse containing the money she had saved to buy her daughter's presents was taken. Amy Carlisle, 37, has epilepsy and learning difficulties and was hoping that the festive season would be the highlight of the year for her family.
Ms Carlisle, of Cotgrave, had saved £200 to buy Christmas presents for her four-year-old daughter. She has been volunteering at a charity shop in West Bridgford for more than year and was helping to clear out the shop on Friday, December 2, when the incident occurred.
The premises was shut to the public at the time, and someone entered through a back door and stole a number of items, Nottinghamshire Police confirmed.
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Ms Carlisle said she had sat on the floor and started crying when she discovered her coat and purse were missing at around 1pm. "My heart was breaking because that money was going to my daughter. They had stolen Christmas for us. They destroyed Christmas", she added.
She said that her daughter also has epilepsy and autism. "I just felt sickness in my stomach", she said. Besides the money, the purse also contained Ms Carlisle's bus pass and her phone.
She said: "Because of my condition, my phone is my lifeline. I can ring someone whenever I need urgent help. I bought the phone on a contract. I am still paying for it", the mum added.
The phone is estimated to cost £499 and her coat £65, on top of the cash for the Christmas presents. Ms Carlisle is on benefits, receiving PIP.
Amy's mum, Jenny Carlisle, said her daughter had a 'difficult' year. "She was doing okay lately and I was concerned that the incident would put her back. She was absolutely devastated."
She explained: "She saved all that money to buy presents for her daughter. She does not have a card because she does not understand how money is spent. The carers work out how much she can have weekly, or what she needs - and that gets into a cash card account.
"She was just going to go the bank and put the money into her account to keep it safe. But she did not get the chance to do it", the heartbroken grandmother said.
Ms Carlisle had to have her bank cards replaced, as well as her bus pass. She has got a replacement for her phone - although she is still paying the contract for her stolen smartphone.
The grandmother added: "I was just worried because it was such a terrible experience for her. She is vulnerable, and I was scared that the stress could give her a seizure. She does not really understand that some people commit crime."
A fundraiser has been set up to help mum Amy recover after the financial loss. Grandmother Jenny has thanked the community for donating towards the cause. The fundraising page has currently raised £285.
A Nottinghamshire Police spokesperson said: "Police were called to a report of a burglary between 12.30pm and 1pm on Friday, December 2 at a premise on Tudor Square in West Bridgford. The premises was currently shut to the public and someone has entered through a back door and stolen a number of items. Anyone with information can call 101 quoting incident number 0317 of December 2, 2022.”
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