AN elderly widow has told of her shock and disgust after a pint-sized sneak thief posing as a charity fundraiser tricked his way into her home and stole a £1000 ruby and diamond ring.
The 79-year-old victim, who did not want to be named, said the thief took the ring after coming to her home in Silverknowes on Thursday and asking her for sponsorship money.
She said she gave him £3 and did not think anything more of the visit until Friday morning when she discovered that her ring – which she bought years previously as a present for herself after retirement – was missing.
She said: “I really loved that ring, it’s terrible he took it. You just never think that someone so young could do something like that.”
Officers at Police Scotland confirmed they were investigating the theft and said they were searching for a boy aged between 12 and 13.
But the victim said he may have been as young as ten.
“I’ve hardly slept a wink,” she said. “The lad came to the door on Thursday with this piece of paper that was all crumpled up and asked me if I would like to sponsor him.
“I said OK, went into the kitchen and turned round to find he had followed me in. I gave him £3 and he brought out his piece of paper and asked me to put my name on it.
“I turned my back, wrote my name and address, and gave it back to him. He went away and I didn’t think anything more of it.
“It was only the next day, when I went to the tray in the kitchen where I keep my jewellery, that I realised the ring wasn’t there.”
The victim said the ring – which contained a tear-shaped ruby surrounded by diamonds – was bought when she was on holiday in Jersey.
She said: “It was years ago. I’d just retired and I had this lump sum and thought, ‘right, I will treat myself’. It was a bit expensive but I bought it and loved it, and now I feel as if I will never see it again. I should have told him to wait at the door or send him back outside when he came in but I just didn’t think.”
A Police Scotland spokesman said: “Police are investigating an incident that happened on Thursday afternoon, where a ruby and diamond ring was stolen from an address in Silverknowes Neuk.
“The suspect, who is described as being a young male aged between 12 and 13 years old, called at the address claiming to be there to collect sponsorship money, and on gaining access to the property, has stolen the item.
“Inquiries are ongoing, and anyone with information should contact Police Scotland on 101, or make an anonymous report through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”