THE family of a pensioner whose purse was stolen as she lay dying after being hit by a lorry has appealed for the public’s help in finding the thief.
Irene Ditcher was killed following the collision with a heavy goods vehicle in Leigh on Wednesday morning.
As exclusively revealed in the Wigan Evening Post on Friday, witnesses reported seeing a man steal the 82-year-old’s purse before fleeing.
The pensioner’s family and officers are now appealing for anyone else who witnessed the shocking theft to come forward.
Senior detectives say it is one of the most ‘disgusting’ crimes they have ever been faced with.
Police were called following the horrific incident on Leigh Road at around 11:45am, and the pensioner was declared deceased shortly after them arriving.
The culprit was white, 6ft tall, between 30 and 40 years old and of medium build.
He had a dark brown beard and was wearing a light grey hooded top with the hood pulled over his head, light blue jeans and black boot style trainers.
Ms Ditcher’s nephew and niece said: “We cannot believe that someone has done this to our auntie. We are absolutely disgusted by this person’s actions.
“Had Auntie Irene been alive she would have given them the money if they’d asked.
“We just hope their conscience gets the better of them and they hand themselves in to the police.”
They also added that they wanted to thank the public for the kindness shown over their loss.
Detective Sergeant Neil Lawless said: “This is one of the most disgusting crimes I have ever investigated and I find it hard to believe someone could stop so low to commit such a horrific offence.
“This man has taken what he sees as an easy opportunity by stealing a purse from a dying woman.
“I am sure the community will be equally disgusted and I appeal to anyone who may have seen this man take the purse and walk off on Leigh Road.
“There are a number of rumours circulating on social media at the moment but I would like to reassure residents we are doing all we can to find out who is responsible.
“However, for us to do so, we need your help.”
Anyone with information should phone police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.