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81-Year-Old Grandmother Stops To Help Panhandler, He Steals Her Wallet

An 81-year-old widow and grandmother stopped to help a New York City panhandler, who then mugged her.

NYPD are still looking for the man who mugged Betty Rose Nelson on the Upper West Side, according to the New York Daily News.

Nelson had just made a $100 withdrawal from the bank on Wednesday, when the attack occurred.

“Can you give me some money? I’m hungry,” the man asked Nelson.

“I give money when people say that to me,” Nelson told the Daily News.

She took the coin purse from her wallet and gave the panhandler less than a dollar in change.

“As I was closing the wallet, he snatched it and ran like hell,” Nelson said. “He did not hurt me, he did not attempt to hurt me in any way, he simply took the wallet and ran.”

A witness called police, but the mugger wasn’t found.

Nelson said the incident will not stop her from giving to the needy in the future.

A lifelong New Yorker, she said she did several things wrong when the man approached her.

“I did two things that one should never do: No. 1, never carry a lot of money. And No. 2, I opened my wallet,” Nelson said.

She said one police officer, Det. Jennifer Augustine, helped her cancel the stolen credit cards.

The wallet was recovered on W. 105th St and returned to Nelson on Thursday.

“Everything was in the wallet, except of course the money,” she said.

NYC officials advise against giving money to panhandlers. Citizens are asked to call 311 to report vagrants sleep on the street and 911 for a panhandling in progress.

Sources: New York Daily News,


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