A MAN has released CCTV footage of his grandmother falling victim to a gang of thieves inside a shop, claiming the owners refused to release the clip on data protection grounds.
The elderly woman is seen being surrounded by crooks who, in the middle of the independently run post office, distract her and then steal from her bag.
Even though the faces of two of the three-strong gang are clearly seen, Wes Thomas says store chiefs refused to release the clip.
So he used his mobile to get his own copy and posted it to social media.
Wes, from Birmingham, said the theft happened on Tuesday at the Chelmsley Wood Post Office in Birmingham.
He posted: “Yesterday my Nan was robbed by 3 people in her local post office.
“They didn’t want us to put it out there due to data protection but to be honest I couldn’t care, if it will help people to be more vigilant. Watch how they operate and tell your elders to be careful especially this time of year.”
The video shows Wes’s grandmother at the top of an isle holding a red bag and looking at items on the shelf. Two women walk into the store and head straight for the elderly lady.
One of the perpetrators distracts the woman as the other, wearing a big coat and hat, walks behind her to look in her bag. A third person, a man wearing a wooly hat, hovers at the other end of the isle before joining in on the scam.
As the elderly woman is being distracted, the man in the hat stands over the woman peering in the bag to block the view of her stealing items from it.
After a good rummage, the thieves immediately retreat and leave the store.
Carl Allen is among those to watch the video and criticise the store owners. He asked: “So the post office’s first priority was protecting the criminals due to their rights? That’s what’s wrong with the system in this country. Disgusting. This is clearly organised, thought through distraction techniques. Seeing this sort of thing more often.”
Christopher Sweeney also blasted the Post Office, writing: “If they would have released the cctv it could have made a difference.”
Many others expressed sympathy for the victim.
Rachel Brayley said: “Hope your Nanny isn’t too shaken and has a speedy recovery. Sending her some love.”
Joe RF Sean commented: “F****** disgusting this is, heart goes out to your Nan Wes. Scum of the earth man, deserve to be shot in the face for behaviour like that.”
Sandra York wrote: “Wes that was terrible, your poor nan. I hope she’s ok and recovers from this.”
Maureen Sutcliffe responded: “Scum and they have no conscience because it’s probably what they do for a living.”
A Post Office spokeswoman said: “In this instance the CCTV is controlled by the independent retailer, who also operates the Post Office branch.
“Although they are unable to provide the footage to individuals they would always make this available to the police when a crime has been reported in order to help with their enquiries.”
The police have been contacted for a comment.