We meet Kathleen outside the police station where she admits she’s committed a crime.
The 81-year-old stole a donut from a corner grocery store when she was six. Her parents made her return to the scene and apologize.
“And I had to take it back half eaten.” She mimes taking it out of her mouth and smiles like a kid, “here’s half a donut!”
Kathleen’s been committed to being good ever since. That’s why she helped the man outside the bank who was asking for directions — the man who ripped the purse out of her hands.
According to Saanich Police, what Kathleen did next was something they’ve never experienced before. “An 81-year-old lady chased down the man who stole her purse which was quite spectacular in and of itself.”
Kathleen shrugs off the chase and says the most remarkable thing was how she screamed when the robber drove away.
“I didn’t even recognize the voice that was coming out.” She laughs about what she yelled “probably not very nice!”
After the adrenaline subsided, the widow said she felt a little uneasy returning home.
“It’s an eerie feeling. I knew he had my address. I knew he had everything. You hear all the creaks and groans in the house”.
Kathleen got a reassuring call in the morning. The police had caught the bad guy and found her stolen wallet.
The videographer captures the return on camera. He sees Kathleen’s relief that the pictures of her grandchildren are still there and surprise that the cash is too. And then she does a second thing that surprises the officers. Kathleen grabs hold of all the money the purse-snatcher left behind and makes a spontaneous request: “Give that to the Tour de Rock.”
The cameraman keeps rolling, as the officer looks unsure. “Can I do that?”
He’s told he can accept on behalf of the Cops for Cancer charity. He receives a hug too – from a senior unafraid of foot pursuits — and unwilling to allow fear to rob her of her joy.
“You guys were so terrific,” she says fighting back tears of gratitude. Then she smiles at officers like she’s been doing since she was six, and proclaims with a laugh,” if anybody every bashes you guys, I’ll bash them back!”
Adam Sawatsky is an Anchor-Reporter at CTV News Vancouver Island.