AN ACTRESS has applauded West Midlands Police officers for finding her stolen purse after rummaging through bins in the city centre.
Chloe Edwards-Wood was preparing to take to the stage for the opening night of Roll Over Beethoven at the Belgrade Theatre when her iPhone and purse, which contained a precious family photo, was stolen.
Officers tracked her phone to the Counden Road area and the home address of prolific thief Paul Grattan.
A search of his flat revealed the handset on top of a bedroom wardrobe, while the 51-year-old admitted to dumping the purse in a city centre bin.
Less than an hour later, officers found the purse dumped in a roadside bin near Lamb Street – with the precious photograph still intact.
Chloe, from London, said: “I was preparing for our opening night when I realised my purse had been stolen.
“It was upsetting as I keep a photo in the sleeve of the purse of myself with my mum when I was just five-years-old – it’s the only copy I have.
“Thankfully the officers got news to me before I went on stage that they’d got the phone back − that was a huge relief − and I couldn’t believe it when they later said they’d found the purse in a bin.
“It was fantastic they’d managed to recover my things and find the man responsible all within a few hours.
“I’m extremely grateful for their help.”
Grattan appeared at Coventry Magistrates Court on September 6 and was jailed for eight weeks after admitting stealing the items.
It was the latest in a string of offences − largely for sneak-in thefts − that’s seen him rack up almost 70 convictions.
Investigating officer PC Gavin Crockwell, said: “Grattan told us roughly where he’d dumped the purse – our officers rummaged through a few bins before finding it covered in rubbish.
“Sometimes we have to get our hands dirty.
“I’m delighted we were able to reunite Chloe with her purse and phone so quickly – the photo clearly meant a lot to her.”