100 year old American tourist mugged on ‘bucket list’ trip to Gloucester birthplace thanks remourseful thief who returned the cash

American tourist William White pictured outside Gloucester Cathedral on his trip to the UK (SWNS)
American tourist William White pictured outside Gloucester Cathedral on his trip to the UK (SWNS)
American tourist William White pictured outside Gloucester Cathedral on his trip to the UK (SWNS)

A 100-year-old America who was mugged on a trip to the British town where he was born has thanked the thief – after he later returned all the money.

Tourist William White was visiting the UK with his son when the cash was snatched from a bum-bag he was wearing around his waist.

He had stepped off a bus and slipped over and he was helped up by a passer-by – who then nicked around £1,400.

The devastated holidaymaker reported the incident to police who began investigating an incident of pick pocketing.

But speaking from his home in Fort Mohave, Arizona, William, an aviation millionaire, reveals the money was later given back by the guilt-ridden thief.

His son Anthony, 70, who lives in  Arizona, with his dad, added: “Here’s what happened.

“In the US we have to have the sidewalks level, we don’t allow them to be dug up and filled and all that, especially ones that are bus stops.

“We got off the bus, my dad had a four-wheeled walker. I went to the edge of this triangular step up to find out where he could wheel down.

“He got a little impatient and started coming towards me. His front wheel hit the edge and went over and he had his weight on it.

“It send him careening on his right side straight on to the rest of the road. Luckily he didn’t hit the car that was parked there. But he did hit rather flat on his right side.

“I let him lay there for a minute and there was a crowd of about four people around him.  I needed assistance to lift my dad up so I could get him sitting on the wheeler.

“When we were lifting him up the money belt that he had on came lose and it disappeared. I didn’t observe any of that.

“I wasn’t even concerned about the money. And then, for the next three days we realised there was no money.”

The tourist, who was visiting Gloucester where he grew up on a “bucket list” trip, was carrying $2,700 and $109 in cash when he fell over.

Having grown up in Tetbury, and worked on the E.28/39 experimental jet aircraft with Gloster Aircraft Company, Anthony spent $6,000 on the trip.

They noticed the theft a few days later and reported it to police but have now revealed the cash was returned just before they went home.

They are not revealing who gave the money back, how or why – because they want to protect the identity.

Antony Williams, 70, refused to unmask the mystery person but did say the pair were very thankful.

He said: “The money did turn up. I believe whenever anything is taken and returned, that person should be completely anonymous.

“Everything is fine. You don’t want to punish a person. That would not be necessary. The nice thing was, dad ended up with his money back.

“We were shook up until we got it back. Even though my dad is very wealthy, you worry about the pennies.

“You have a lot and it is hard for him at his age to lose it. That shook him up, yes.

“I did not go to the police the first day that it was missing because I felt in a foreign country, you don’t have much hope. ”

William and his son were visiting Gloucester for possibly the last time, as the retired plane developer becomes increasingly frail.

William, who was born in 1914, grew up in the Gloucester area and worked with Gloster Aircraft Company until 1948 when he moved to Canada.

He soon moved on to America, where he worked on more aircraft, married and had two children.

Gloucester Police have confirmed they will be talking to Antony regarding the incident.


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