Huntingdonshire grandmother, 90, helps catch thief in police sting


- Credit: Archant

A housebound 90-year-old grandmother who helped police catch a carer who was stealing her money says the thief “deserves whatever is coming to her”. Mary Rose, of Ramsey St Mary’s, says she was “hurt” after discovering Andrea Gartside was taking cash from her home.

The 38 year old of Harris Lane, Wistow, who was a care worker for Radis Community Care, was arrested in August last year.

This month, Gartside admitted theft and possession of a class B drug and is due at Huntingdon Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (March 3) when she will be sentenced.

Mrs Rose, who has a daughter, two sons and five grandchildren, said the first she realised something was not right was when an unopened jar of coffee disappeared.

“Things like that just don’t go missing, so my daughter said I had better check my money.

“I checked it that night and found £20 was missing. To make doubly sure, I checked it the next time she came in and there was another £30 missing.

“I then reported it to the police and they said carry on as if nothing has happened, which I did, and the next time she came £80 was missing, then £100 went missing.”

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Officers arrested Gartside and she was found to have the stolen money.

“Two notes were found on her - that was a police trap,” said Mrs Rose. “They had taken down the serial numbers on the notes and she had two of them.

“I was upset about it. When you have trusted people and then you realise you made a mistake, it hurts.

“She was the only one who could have done it. She was the one who helped me to bed at night, so then when I am in bed she could do what she likes.

“It was very distressing at the time. She’d been my carer for about six months. How much she could have had before, I don’t know.”

Mrs Rose, who can walk only with a frame, stressed that her other carers had all been very good.

She added: “She [Gartside] deserves whatever is coming to her. It was a very dirty trick. No one knows who else she has robbed. She went to people with dementia and other bed-ridden people, so she could have had anything, but no one else has caught her.

“I’m very glad because of what she could have been doing to other people apart from me.”

Gartside is no longer a Radis employee, said a spokesman for the company, who added: “We were shocked and saddened to hear of the offence committed against one of our customers and we worked closely with the authorities to ensure that the situation was resolved effectively.

“All of the necessary vetting and checks had been carried out in respect of this care worker and the safety and wellbeing of our customers continues to be our first priority.

“We can confirm that the defendant is no longer employed by the company.”