After 56-year-old Ridgefield resident Grace Romero was putting away her groceries two weeks ago on Friday, August 3, she couldn’t locate her purse—the one which contained all of her saved cash needed to visit her ailing mother in Texas. Distressed, she drove 10 minutes from her home back to Copps Hill Plaza where she had been shopping at Stop & Shop and began asking people in the parking lot and in the store if anyone had seen her purse. She called the Ridgefield Police Department shortly thereafter.
“I looked like a maniac trying to look for it,” she said.
And with good reason: Without that money (a lump sum that Romero would not disclose) she would have to depend on the charity of her family to visit her 80-year-old disabled mother who had recently underwent a stroke. The cash was particularly important this time because she said had saved the money in order to see her mother “before she died.”
Romero, herself living with disabilities and a member of the town’s Commission for the Disabled for 13 years, hoped that the kindness of Ridgefield strangers would prevail as it had in the past. Since she moved to Ridgefield in 1998, she has lost her purse (not always the same one, but one with always with less than a hundred dollars inside) three times before but every time she had it returned to her in less than a week, with everything intact.
“So I’m optimistic that they’ll return it,” said Romero. However, given the amount of cash in the purse, she isn’t positive it will be returned.
“I guess this time I had more money [in there],” she said “Stupid me.”
She said she just wants her purse back, with “no questions asked” and is also offering a reward.
Police logs note a missing property complaint at Copps Hill Plaza came in at 5:23 p.m on that date.
She identified the purse only by its black color. Also missing with the purse is a card “from a very special someone” with a message inscribed. Romero said that the purse can be identified with reading that message in order to claim the reward.
As to its whereabouts, Romero believes she may have dropped it in the parking lot, as in-store cameras showed that she had the small purse in her hands when she paid, she said.
“If someone doesn’t return it, maybe they needed the money more than I do,” she said. Yet without that money, Romero would have to ask her family to fly her out, something which she doesn’t wish to ask of them due to harsh economic times.
Anyone with information about Romero’s missing purse can contact her at 203-894-8042 as well as the .