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'Model' thief steals clothes intended to raise money sick Issey's charity
5:00am Wednesday 2nd April 2014 in News
A mother has spoken of her anger after a thief posed as a catwalk model to steal from a charity in aid of sick youngsters which was set up in her seriously ill daughter's name.
Schoolgirl Issey Riley, seven, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in August last year and since then had undergone endless rounds of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Just one day after she was diagnosed she underwent a six-hour operation at Southampton General Hospital.
Until December she will have chemotherapy in the hospital - quite an ordeal for a little girl who loves school but is currently too ill to attend.
The youngster's parents, Sam and Paul Riley, 33 and 37, are so grateful to the hospital they have set up a charity, Pray for Issey, in their girl's honour.
Money raised from Pray to Issey will go to the children's neurosciences unit at the hospital which cares for many children across West Sussex and Hampshire.
On Saturday, April 5, a charity fashion show in their home town of Bognor will take place in aid of the charity.
Shops in the town have donated clothes and so far around £2,800 has been raised.
One such shop which offered its clothes was Stones Clothing in The Arcade.
But on Saturday, March 22, at 2pm a thief walked into the shop and pretended to be a model, claiming he was collecting clothes ahead of the show.
He took eight items of clothing worth a total of £424.99 and left the store.
Among the items he took were a Lambretta parka coat, two pairs of Voi jeans and two Voi hooded sweatshirts.
Mrs Riley, who works with young adults in supported living, said: “Issey is so brave. She has never said and cried but greets everyday with a smile.
“She has a tube into her tummy but just gets on with it. She is the bravest little girl.
“She loves arts and crafts and misses school dreadfully.
“I am so angry with this man - he knew what we were collecting for. But we will just get on with it.”
PC Emma Howard said: "Both the Riley family and the event organisers are horrified that someone has done this.
"We would like to speak to anyone who saw the thief in the store or who recognises the man in the CCTV.
"If you know who or where the thief is, or you are offered the chance to buy the clothes, please contact me."
Call Sussex Police on 101.
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