A young mother who lost hundreds of family photos when her phone was stolen while shopping has begged for the culprit to give it back, with police saying they can do nothing to help.
The woman was shopping in the Tesco in Surrey Quays last Monday (April 12) with her ten-month-old baby in a pushchair.
She put the Samsung Galaxy A50 in a pocket at the back of the pushchair, and while her attention was briefly elsewhere, the phone disappeared.
She told Tesco’s customer service and the phone rang, showing it was still on. “I was very happy because I thought someone in the shop had it and was going to bring it to me,” she said. But the phone was then switched off.
The woman called the police when she got back home and could use her partner’s phone, but officers later said there was nothing they could do.
“My baby was born during the lockdown, and we were so together as a family, with my older child too. All of those pictures and videos were on that phone.”
She is a tour guide in normal times and all of her valuable business contacts that she built up over her career were on the phone – meaning she now has to start again.
Unfortunately, the woman said that she had not backed up her phone, meaning the photos are only on the device. “I never thought of it, but now I feel terrible,” she said.
To make matters worse, her “very close” friend in Paris died the same night and Andrea was unable to be in contact with or her own family to send condolences.
She is in despair and has begged whoever took the phone to take pity on her and give it back – without fear of repercussions. She said that if she could pass a message to the thief, it would be to leave the phone on the customer service desk of the Tesco and say they found it.
“All I want is the phone back – it means so much to me, much more than just a phone.”
A spokesperson for the Met Police said: “On the evening of Monday, 12 April, police received a report from a woman who believed her phone had been stolen in Surrey Quays Shopping Centre.
“Officers did not attend as the alleged offence had taken place some hours earlier.
“Follow up enquiries were conducted but an assessment of the available evidence determined there was no realistic prospect of identifying any suspects. The case has been closed.”