Grandmother Surprised With Money Raised After Purse Stolen on 93rd Birthday

Los Angeles police officers on Friday surprised a 93-year-old grandmother with money from a crowdfunding account they set up after learning her purse was stolen on her birthday.

Marie O'Brien was presented with $1,200 by members of the LAPD's Topanga division at the Long Beach Senior center where she has volunteered for over 20 years.

"I'm speechless," O'Brien said at the presentation. "I don't know what to say."

On Nov. 7, O'Brien was celebrating her birthday with her family when her purse was stolen from her chair inside a local restaurant. Her family helped look for her purse but found no trace of her belongings.

When Los Angeles Police Department Capt. Maureen Ryan and Officer Duc Dao heard about the stolen purse, they were touched by the story. Ryan and Dao set up a GoFundMe account to help replace some of the stolen items.

At the donation presentation Friday, O'Brien was emotional and incredibly grateful.

"It so wonderful to see how many good people we have. That really touched my heart," O'Brien said.


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O'Brien's purse was found Thursday but her cash, gift cards, and treasured rosary were gone. In addition to the cash donation she received, she was also provided a new rosary.

The restaurant where her purse was stolen has also offered to host the entire family for a "do over" birthday dinner.

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