Passenger reunited with gift from late husband after BTP tracked down thief
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A widow has been reunited with a teddy bear – a present from her late husband - after BTP officers tracked down the thief in under half an hour.
Linda Lawson, from School Aycliffe, near Darlington, was returning from a trip to Cologne when she boarded the LNER service from London Kings Cross to Darlington.
When the train arrived at Doncaster she glanced over to check on her case and saw it was still there. But when the guard blew the whistle she glanced again and it had gone.
She immediately ran to the train door and alerted the station guard who stopped the train from leaving and she got off.
British Transport Police searched both platforms with no sign of the thief.
But when they checked CCTV, they saw that he had taken the case into a waiting room before boarding a train to Sheffield.
And much to his surprise, BTP officers were waiting at Sheffield to arrest him and retrieve the case.
PC Rob Simpson handed over the case in person to Mrs Lawson the following day.
He said: "It was thanks in no small part to Mrs Lawson constantly keeping her eye on her luggage that we were able to act immediately when she reported it stolen. This and the fact that her case was very distinctive and had a ribbon threaded through the handle there was no mistaking that it was her property when we spotted the suspect with the case.”
Mrs Lawson said: "I cannot thank PC Simpson enough. I couldn't have asked for more from British Transport Police and all the rail staff at the station - they comforted me, put me on a train home and reassured me they had my case with everything inside and would personally reunite me with it. The thought of losing the bear my husband gave me was too much. I am so grateful he's back home with me.
"My late husband always told me to keep an eye on my belongings so I think he probably prompted me to take a look - thankfully I did and realised that in just seconds my case had gone."
Notes to editors:
*32 year old Mustafa Mouni, of Glover Road, Sheffield pleaded guilty to theft and received an 18 week sentence suspended for 12 months by Sheffield magistrates on May 17.
He was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge £154 and costs of £85.