Cash snatched from single mother’s hands in East Ham bank theft

Lloyds Bank in High Street North, East Ham. Picture: Google

Lloyds Bank in High Street North, East Ham. Picture: Google - Credit: Google

Thieves snatched about £1,000 in cash from a single mother queuing to make a deposit at an East Ham bank.

Hasret John-Baptiste had just returned from six weeks’ holiday along the south coast with her 15-year-old daughter when she stopped by the Lloyds Bank branch in High Street North to return her unused travel money.

“I was going to use the deposit machine inside the bank but it was playing up,” she told the Recorder.

“It kept giving the money back to me.”

Clutching the funds in a white envelope, the 38-year-old joined the line for a cashier, catching the eye of a man several places in front of her.

“Suddenly he turned and walked towards me, and snatched the envelope off my hands and ran out the bank,” she said.

Police officers called the scene at 11.35am on Monday, September 3 scoured CCTV footage as well as interviewing witnesses and a reeling Hasret.

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But at 9.18am the following morning, she received an email from Scotland Yard saying officers had closed the case.

It was “unlikely that it will be possible to identify those responsible” given the evidence and available leads, wrote an officer from the Met’s Crime Assessment Team.

The suspect, described as a black man wearing a white or grey hoodie, remains at large.

“Officers attended and searched the area but no trace could be found of the suspect,” said a police spokeswoman.

She added: “At this time all lines of enquiry have been exhausted but should more information come to light it will be considered.”

Hasret said the theft left her “scared”, “shocked” and “absolutely frozen”, adding: “That day I didn’t talk and I didn’t eat, so I don’t know how I gave my statement to the police.

“Ever since then I’ve not been properly sleeping.”

While she received an apology from the branch’s manager, the nursery teacher — of Savage Gardens, Beckton — says she will not be entitled to compensation.

“We are aware of an incident which took place in our East Ham branch,” said a spokesman for Lloyds.

“We have assisted the police with their enquiries and provided CCTV footage.”