Jan 12, 2024

Terminally ill man, 80, robbed of pokies winnings after collapsing before cashing in

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Police are seeking information from anyone who witnessed the alleged crime or who may be able to identify the woman. [Source: 7News]

Police are searching for a woman who allegedly stole the poker machine winnings of an 80-year-old terminally ill man who suffered from a medical episode before he could cash in at a pub north of Brisbane. 

Thomas Purtill, who has cancer and has recently been told he has three-to-six months left to live, decided to put a few dollars through a poker machine at a Caboolture pub at the end of November and came out on top by $300. 

Choosing not to push his luck, Mr Purtill had plans to cash in on his winnings at the establishment, go get a haircut and return home. Unfortunately, the win brought bad luck upon him. 

On the way to the machine, Mr Purtill suffered a medical episode and collapsed on the floor, dropping his ticket on the way down.

Police allege that while staff tended to him, a woman saw his ticket and cashed it in herself, taking off with his $300. 

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Mr Purtill collapsed on the floor while the alleged thief cashed in his winnings. [Source: 7News]

CCTV footage of the event has since been released in an attempt to identify the woman and bring her to justice. 

Mr Purtill told 7News his thoughts on the woman’s alleged actions “wouldn’t be allowed” to be aired on television. 

“It’s weak.”

Mr Purtill spent two days in hospital after the incident and has since returned for treatment for his cancer. He wants anyone who knows the woman to contact police. 

Police are also urging anyone who knows the woman or has any information to contact them immediately.

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