Pickpockets stopped by plucky pensioners

Joan and Brian Ogden, of Adlington
Joan and Brian Ogden, of Adlington

Thieving pickpockets were thwarted by two plucky pensioners who gave chase after being targeted on a Spanish holiday.

Grandparents Brian and Joan Ogden confronted the two women who struck on the very last day of the elderly couple’s week-long break in Benidorm.

They stopped the thieves and recovered Brian’s wallet which had been snatched from him.

Back home in Babylon Lane, Adlington, Brian, 80, and Joan, 78, recalled the ordeal.

Joan said: “We were walklooking in a shop window and this lady bumped into Brian. I thought she’d stumbled.

“We walked further along and were going into the hotel revolving door and I could feel somebody close to the back of us and I stepped back and I sawit was these two ladies.

“She put her hand down in his pocket. I shouted, ‘she’s got your wallet.’ So we decided to run after them.

“I grabbed hold of the lady I’d seen take it, but she’d passed it to the other by then, so Brian tackled the other lady and she gave it him back.”

Brian, who uses inhalers for breathing problems, said: “She didn’t fight, she just gave it me back.”

The incident happened at 2.30pm, just two hours before the couple were due to leave for home following their stay at Hotel Don Pancho.

Joan added: “We told the hotel reception and described the ladies and they said it was well known, but the police couldn’t come for three days.

“But I said we were going home. We were glad when the coach came as we were upset.”

Brian, who started his working life as a flagger and kerber with Chorley Council, before becoming a storekeeper at Leyland Bus, Farington, said: “It’s upsetting when you lose your wallet like that.

“I thought they’d got my credit cards.

“Once I found out there was no money gone and cards hadn’t gone, I calmed down.

“But I was a bit annoyed as the hotel had known about these people but there were no signs up to say beware.”

Joan, a former secretary with Lancashire County Council, and the ROF, Euxton, added: “We were just glad to get the wallet back and not get thumped.”

The couple are grandparents to little Rosanna Ogden, five, of Adlington, who had open heart surgery at just six weeks after a tumour was found on her heart.

She now raises money for charity through swimming.

Their son Mick and family were holidaying not far away in Altea when the pickpockets struck.

He described his parents as “superheroes”.

He said on his Facebook page: “When you consider the fact that most of the guests at this hotel are pensioners, this is not acceptable.

“The hotel should give out a leaflet when checking in stating that it’s an area with a very high crime rate and to be careful with your belongings.

“The hotel should have security staff on the hotel 24-7 – they did do in the 90s .

“Let this be a warning to all holiday makers planning to go to Benidorm, as you may not be as lucky as my parents.”