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Video: Single mother catches her best friend of 14 years stealing money from her purse

Single mother catches her best friend of 14 years stealing money from her purse 1

Video: Single mother catches her best friend of 14 years stealing money from her purse.

BESTIE BETRAYED Single mum, 27, cried as she watched best friend of 14 years steal from her purse on hidden camera

Moment struggling single mother, 27, uses hidden camera to catch her best friend of 14 years stealing money from her purse in her own home.

A struggling single mother caught her best friend stealing cash from her in her own home after she set up a secret camera in her kitchen.

Samantha Wood, 27, of Hedon, Hull, said she was brought to tears as she watched Melissa Collier, 28, rifle through her purse as she made a cup of tea.

Footage from the device hidden behind her toaster showed the moment Collier, her friend of 14 years, nabbed the money in her handbag and stuffed it in her bra.

Ms Wood said she set up the camera after she noticed money from her savings jar and from her nine-year-old son’s piggy bank had gone missing.

Collier, of Hull, has now admitted one count of theft which was caught on camera, at a hearing at Hull Magistrates Court.

Ms Wood said: ‘That day she acted like nothing had happened. She told me she had made me a cup of tea, like she had done me a favour, but she had just stolen from me.

‘I cried when I watched the footage, it was heartbreaking. This was my best friend who I was helping and she was stealing from me, it was such a difficult process.

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Video: Single mother catches her best friend of 14 years stealing money from her purse
Melissa Collier (left) pleaded guilty to stealing from victim Samantha Wood (right)

‘I’m a single mum and she knew I was struggling myself. She was my best friend, I confided in her in everything and then she was stealing from me.

‘She left me in a position where I couldn’t afford my bills. I loved her like a sister and she has not once cared about how her stealing from me was going to affect my ability to pay my bills or for my son Lucas.’

The mother of one had met Collier, 28, known to friends as Milly, at South Holderness Technology College when they were just 13 years old.

She said after money started going missing she grew suspicious of her friend, and chose not to confront her, but instead buy a camera from Amazon to catch whoever it was in the act.

Not long afterwards she caught Collier red handed. As she was upstairs drying her hair, she watched Collier steal the money as she boiled a kettle for a cup of tea, and when she had stuffed the money in her bra she called her down.

Ms Wood, who runs a cleaning business, said she noticed money disappearing last Christmas and said her savings dwindled from £200 to £40.

At first, not wanting to believe her friend could steal from her, Samantha doubted herself. But Samantha claims it was when money disappeared from her son Lucas’ piggy bank that Samantha decided to buy the secret camera.

She said: ‘I thought ‘am I losing my mind?’ I just didn’t want to lose a friend, therefore I was just telling myself I must be losing this money, I must be being irresponsible, am I spending it and not realising?

‘What hurts the most is that she didn’t need the money, she wanted the money. She had no reason to do it, she had a full time job.

‘She just got greedy, she was spending her own money, but still wanted to go out, buy clothes, have takeaways and didn’t have any money left from her own wages so she just took mine. She was getting her nails done and going for weekends away.’

Ms Wood reported the incident to Humberside Police.

Since her arrest, Collier has sent dozens of messages to Ms Wood, to offer her apologies. She said she ‘didn’t think she would ever get caught’.

She wrote: ‘I’m so sorry, I know you’ve contacted police and got evidence. I should’ve stopped I know I should but I was struggling so much.

‘I know I’ve taken money I’m sorry, I know it’s not easy for you and I’m taking money not just from you but from Lucas too, I am so sorry Sammy.

‘If I am being honest Sammy, I didn’t think I would get caught, I know that sounds awful and disgusting but I was being selfish and thinking of myself.

‘I’m sorry Sammy I honestly didn’t mean to hurt you. I thought I would stop too but I couldn’t.

‘I am sorry Sammy, I know you struggle and I shouldn’t have taken money from you and Lucas for that matter. Like I say I was being selfish at the time. I should have stopped a long time ago but I couldn’t get a grip of it.’

Collier pleaded guilty to one count of theft and five counts of burglary at Hull Magistrates Court on November 11.

She appeared again on Tuesday, December 10 when her case was committed to Hull Crown Court for sentencing.

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