War veteran is robbed

Peter Sweeney and Adam PoulsenGeraldton Guardian
Karloo man Joe Lee nurses his wounds after the incident.
Camera IconKarloo man Joe Lee nurses his wounds after the incident. Credit: Picture: Peter Sweeney, Peter Sweeney, The Geraldton Guardian

Bruised, bloodied and wrapped up like a Christmas present, war veteran Joe Lee is wondering if his ticket in the $30 million Lotto draw is worth anything.

He will probably never know.

“It’s probably a winner, she’s got that too, the ...” Mr Lee, of Karloo, said in a serious-sarcastic manner.

The 90-year-old was robbed in the carpark of the Rangeway Shopping Centre last Saturday morning.

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Aided by his walking stick, Mr Lee was slowly making his way to his vehicle about 11.40am when a woman allegedly tried to grab his wallet from his back pocket.

Mr Lee said as he turned around, he fell to the ground, taking chunks of skin out of his right arm and leg.

“I walked past the woman on the way into the chemist but nothing was said,” he said

“When I was returning to the car with my prescription medicine, she asked if I could help her.

“I said ‘no’ and then I felt a hand reaching for my pocket.

“I fell over as I turned. A lovely indigenous man named Mr Nannup heard my screaming and helped me.

“He got me to my feet and was disgusted and embarrassed.

“Police came and so did an ambulance to take me to Geraldton Regional Hospital.

“I lost a fair amount of blood and am heavily bandaged on my right arm and leg. I am also pretty sore in the groin area and cannot stand up. But I’m a lot sorer in the back pocket.”

His wallet, containing $400 and cards, including pensioner, fuel and supermarket rewards, Department of Veteran’s Affairs, library and RSL cards, was taken. But obviously not his sense of humour.

“Nobody will take that; you’ve got to keep that mate,” he said.

On Saturday night, police arrested a 34-year-old Utakarra woman and charged her with stealing. The woman was also charged over an alleged theft from an 81-year-old woman as she was leaving a Geraldton supermarket on December 11.

The same woman has also been charged with stealing from a Geraldton pharmacy on November 16. She is due to appear in Geraldton Magistrate’s Court on January 30.

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