Shocking moment laughing thief steals £1,100 from vulnerable pensioner on mobility scooter who handed him money | The Sun

THIS is the shocking moment a laughing thief stole £1,100 from a vulnerable pensioner on a mobility scooter who handed him money.

Andrew Merritt, 34, from Worksop in Nottinghamshire, stopped the the 88-year-old on the street on August 1 and asked if if he could spare a few pounds.

The pensioner, who was on a mobility scooter, took out his wallet and gave Merritt £3.10.

Merritt then hugged the OAP – before grabbing the wallet and walking away.

As the elderly man pleaded for it back, Merritt grinned and counted the large wad of £20 banknotes from inside the wallet.

The vile thief then dumped the wallet and pocketed the cash, which totalled £1,100.

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Cops arrested Merritt six days later after recognising him from CCTV footage.

Merritt denied stealing the money, telling police the pensioner had agreed to buy a bike from him.

He pleaded not guilty to robbery but changed his plea to guilty on October 6.

The thief was jailed for four years at Nottingham Crown Court on Wednesday.

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Merritt was also banned from Worksop town centre for four years and ordered to pay a £228 victim surcharge.

The court heard Merritt has previous convictions relating to 118 offences – including theft, shoplifting, assault, breaching court orders and burglaries.

Detective Chief Inspector Nick Hall said: "Merritt’s actions were cowardly in the extreme.

"He preyed on a vulnerable man knowing he would not be able to stop him making off with his money.

"When he asked for £2, the elderly victim gave him that and more, out of the goodness of his heart.

"It was a kind act of generosity and so it was staggering that Merritt repaid the gentleman’s empathy by robbing him of such a vast amount of money.

"It was an extremely cruel crime and I am pleased Merritt has been made to pay for his appalling actions.

"I hope the outcome at court provides the victim with some comfort in knowing that Merritt can no longer harm anybody in our communities.

"I’d also like to thank the witnesses who came forward with information so that we could put Merritt behind bars."

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