TOPANGA CANYON—On November 7, a 93-year-old grandmother’s purse was stolen during her birthday celebration at a local Woodland Hills restaurant.
The grandmother, Marie O’Brien, who survived four years of Nazi occupation while living in her native France, currently lives in Long Beach as confirmed by a CBS2 local news report.
O’Brien and her family searched for the purse, which was last seen on her chair, but were unable to locate it. The purse included less than $100, gift cards, and a rosary that belonged to her late husband, who she met in France during World War II.
According to a LAPD press release, LAPD Captain Maureen Ryan of the Topanga Area and LAPD Topanga Area Senior Leader Officer Duc Dao stepped in, contacting O’Brien’s granddaughter to help in replacing some of the stolen items.
“Sometimes stories tug at you heart stings,” said Captain Maureen Ryan during a press conference.
Officer Duc Dao chimed in saying, “She told me that she cries at night and I was speechless, so something needed to be done.”
On November 11, Captain Ryan and Officer Dao set up a GoFundMe account and with the help of the community raised over $1,200 in less than two days.
On Friday, November 13, O’Brien’s granddaughter, and the two LAPD officers, surprised O’Brien at the Long Beach City Senior Center, a place she has volunteered for over 20 years, with the funds that were raised by the community.
Officer Dao exclusively told CBS2, “Bad things should not happen to good people, especially when you’re 93.”