Pensioner tells of 'terrible ordeal' with mugger

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A pensioner mugged by a "lunatic" at St Albans market is still shaking from his terrible ordeal.

Bernard Hamilton, 78, was targeted by two men in their 20s while shopping at the city’s popular Saturday market.

One, thought to be aged between 25 and 27, distracted the former plumber and heating engineer with erratic and aggressive behaviour and stole his wallet.

Mr Hamilton, from Garston, said: "He came up to me pulling faces. I thought he was a lunatic.

"He ran up against my head like he was going to bite my nose off and while he was doing that he took my wallet.

"I lost everything. It was a terrible ordeal."

Mr Hamilton lost his bank cards, gardening vouchers, telephone cards and £130 cash that was in his wallet.

He said the theft, which occurred on Saturday April 12, at about midday on St Peter’s Street, has had a lasting effect.

He said: "I didn’t realise what was happening.

"I’m 78 years old, I’m not that quick - I have a walking stick.

"I’m still shaking. I can’t stop. I’m very cautious and very careful now.

"When I’m walking out amongst people, I can’t trust anyone. It’s awful."

Mr Hamilton, who has championed charity events and raised £13,000 for Children in Need, said people need to be warned professional criminals are operating at the market.

The 78-year-old continued: "It was a terrible experience.

"I’ve heard about this before in St Albans, but it’s not until it happens to you it hits home.

"People need to be careful when shopping, there are terrible people about. You don’t know they’re watching you and then they pounce."

Hertfordshire Constabulary confirmed no one has been charged in connection with the incident.

Giles Cooper, with the force, said: "We are investigating a report of theft from Saturday, April 12 at 12.05pm on St Peter’s Street in St Albans.

"Two males were involved, they distracted the victim and the theft occurred.

"We have a description for one of the thieves. A white male, aged between 25 and 27, approximately six foot in height and medium build.

"He also had an English accent and was wearing a grey long sleeve top."

Anyone with information on the crime is urged to contact PC Shaun Woods through the police’s 101 phone number, or alternatively to contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, quoting the crime reference number F1141190.

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