September 25, 2021

Grandmother, 81, tells how she bravely fought off would-be cash-point mugger


No-one messes with Doreen! Fearless grandmother, 81, reveals how she bravely fought off a ‘pregnant’ cash-point mugger – because ‘it’s my money and I’ve worked hard for it’

  • Doreen Jones, 81, was the victim of an attempted cashpoint mugging in May
  • She fought off the would-be robber but has since suffered heart problems
  • CCTV shows the retired car factory welder battling back against younger woman
  • Police fear the mugger may strike again and are appealing for information

By Stefan Boscia and Richard Spillett for MailOnline

Published: 19:58 EDT, 18 September 2019 | Updated: 05:17 EDT, 19 September 2019

A brave 81-year-old widow has told how she fought off a mugger who tried to steal from her as she withdrew her pension money from a cashpoint.  

Doreen Jones was at a cash machine in Blackheath High Street, West Midlands, when she was attacked by a young woman who initially tried to beg from her.

Remarkable CCTV footage shows the twice-widowed retired car factory welder battling back and forcing the mugger to run off.

Mrs Jones said of the incident: ‘She wasn’t expecting me, I tell you. She was expecting somebody more vulnerable, and they picked the wrong one when they picked Doreen.’

Doreen Jones, 81, was approached at a cashpoint by a young woman who asked her for money

Mrs Jones said she’d worked hard for her pension and was determined not to be robbed

Since the attack, the twice-widowed pensioner has suffered from heart problems and anxiety when visiting the street where she was attacked

She said the woman tapped her on the shoulder and pointed to her mouth, in an apparent plea for food, and tried to hand her a piece of paper. 

Mrs Jones tried to get the woman to leave her alone while she attempted to get her pension cash from the machine.

But the mugger – who police believe may have been pregnant at the time – lunged at the elderly woman and tried to grab her bank card from the machine.   

Mrs Jones told BBC Crimewatch that she was not going to let that happen.

She said: ‘I thought, “No, you’re not having my money, I’ve worked hard for that”.’ 

The pensioner quickly grabbed her card and was able to overpower the much younger woman. 

‘I got her hair as well as her collar and she started screaming,’ Doreen said. ‘I don’t know why she was screaming. I was the one who should have been screaming.’

The would-be mugger ran away without getting anything, but Doreen collapsed in the High Street and an ambulance was called to look after her.

CCTV shows the woman lunging at the cash machine in a bid to steal the pensioner’s card

Brave Mrs Jones fought back and grabbed the woman’s hair and collar, forcing her to flee 

The would-be mugger ran away screaming before Doreen collapsed in the street

Since the attack, which occurred on May 20, Doreen has suffered heart attacks and gets anxious when visiting the same street. 

She said of muggers: ‘They just think of what they are going to get. They don’t think about what it does to the person after’. 

Her attacker has not been caught. 

Mrs Jones, who previously worked as a welder in a car factory, has lived alone in the West Midlands since her second husband, Roy, was killed by cancer 13 years ago. Her first husband John died of a heart attack.

She said her work in a car factory built her character and she calls her pensioner her wages, ‘because I’ve worked for them’.

She is determined not to let the incident ruin her life, saying: ‘You have to get on with your life and do what you can, as much as you can, and enjoy life while you’ve still got it.’

Mrs Jones is twice widowed. Her first husband John (left) died of a heart attack. Her second husband, Roy, was killed by cancer 13 years ago

The incident happened at this cash machine (left) in Blackheath High Street, West Midlands

Police have released the CCTV as they attempt to track down the young mugger and they are appealing for information. 

PSI Peter Rawlins said of the suspect: ‘She may have been pregnant at the time so she may now be heavily pregnant or may have recently had her child.

‘She may do this again. If you see her acting suspiciously by a cash machine then contact us.’

He added: ‘Doreen is a tough lady and this suspect picked the wrong pensioner, but she has had heart problems since the incident.’


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