Thief targets Resources for Autism on New Year's Eve

Times Series: Director of Resources for Autism, Liza Dresner. Director of Resources for Autism, Liza Dresner.

A thief stole money from the purses of charity workers as they looked after autistic children on New Year’s Eve.

The criminal entered Ewan Church Hall in Wood Street, Barnet, where Resources for Autism was hosting its final Christmas holiday play scheme for eight to 19-year-olds.

Emily Morrall, a support teacher who was working that day, told the Times Series: “The man said he wanted to hire out the hall for a children’s party.

“I told him he had to wait in reception but the next thing I knew he was upstairs where we keep our bags. He left and when I went upstairs my purse was open and all my money was gone.”

Miss Morrall said: “I was really shocked and angry that someone would do something like that.”

A total of £30 was stolen from her purse, and £60 from another member of staff’s purse.

Resources for Autism's Christmas play scheme offers activities for children with autism, including arts and crafts, sensory games and drama.

Director of the charity, Liza Dresner, said: “Somebody must have been really desperate to target a group of staff who were doing such an incredible job on New Year’s Eve, without any thought for them.

“I emailed our trustees to tell them about what happened and one of them who lives close by dropped £100 into the office. He said he didn’t want the staff to be without cash on New Year’s Eve. A nice thing like that outweighs the bad that has happened.”

Police are appealing for witnesses to the crime.

The suspect is described as a white man, approximately 5ft 10ins tall, of slim build, in his late 20s to early 30s with ginger facial stubble. He was wearing an army coloured cap and coat.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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