Richmond residents come to pensioner’s aid after she fell victim to con men

Kind-hearted neighbours have set up a JustGiving page after a 95-year-old Richmond resident lost her life savings to con men earlier this week.

Hazel, of Ham Close, fell victim to the cruel scheme on Wednesday afternoon which saw her lose 15 years’ worth of savings which she intended to use to cover her own funeral costs.

Upon arriving home, Hazel found three men waiting outside her flat.

The men claimed to be from the council investigating a leak in the building and requested access to Hazel’s residence to test the plumbing.

With Hazel distracted, one of the trio searched the property and stole £5,000 in cash from a bedroom drawer, jewellery and other valuables.

An engagement ring once belonging to Hazel’s sister was among the stolen jewellery.

Kerri Rose, a 43-year-old foster carer, is Hazel’s friend and neighbour and set up the JustGiving page upon learning of the incident.

She said: “We need to get this lady’s smile back. She has no family to rely on. I hope we can show that we are there for her as a community after this awful thing happened to her.”

Although without family, Hazel clearly has many friends.

An outpouring of affection and support on the JustGiving page hails Hazel as a lady who “always has a smile.”

One donor wrote: “Hazel, your [sic] the most loveliest lady. We used to live above you, and as a kid always coming out to play with us and talk to us. Giving us kit kats.”

The page has already raised £1,352 of its £5,000 target with nearly 200 shares on social media.

Another donor expressed the community’s spirit, saying: “Come on let’s all pull together and get back her money.”

The kindness shown in support of Hazel has already had a hugely positive effect.

On Friday, Kerri posted a photo of a beaming Hazel on the page with the caption: “This is Hazel, you have already put a smile back on her face. She is really touched and grateful for all donations and lovely messages.”

Police are appealing for witnesses to the incident which occurred at 1pm on Wednesday 1st November.

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