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Poppy wearing thief steals Royal British Legion collection tin

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: November 09, 2012

  • A thief enters the BP Connect garage in Ashchurch Road, Tewkesbury to steal the Poppy tin

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THIS is the moment a thief pocketed a Royal British Legion collection tin while wearing a poppy.

He was captured on CCTV at the BP Connect garage in Ashchurch Road, Tewkesbury, as he snatched the charity box collecting money for servicemen in the run up to Remembrance Sunday.

It was one of four shameful thefts of Poppy Appeal collections in shops and pubs across the county in just one day.

Peter Godwin, secretary of the Royal British Legion club in Tewkesbury, was horrified by the theft on Monday.

He said it appeared to have been carefully thought out by the thief, who had used a device to cut through a cable that secured the box to a desk.

"It's very sad that there are people in our society who would steal any of these charity collection pots, not just the Legion's," he added.

"It's very sad that there is a minority that think it's an easy way to get money."

He added that although most businesses had agreed to take Poppy Appeal boxes in Tewkesbury this year, one or two had declined because they felt it would be an invitation to thieves to steal them.

Another offender struck three times in a matter of hours in villages in the Cotswolds.

The man managed to grab collection tins from the Post Office in High Street, Chipping Campden, The Ox Wine Company in Market Place, Northleach and the Duke of Wellington Inn in Sherbourne Street, Bourton-on-the-Water.

Gareth Evans, manager at the Duke of Wellington, said he was disgusted with the theft.

He remembers speaking to the man when he came in, before leaving him to read a menu.

It was only later that he discovered the charity box had gone. The thief had cut through a cord attaching the tin to the bar before snatching it.

"It is just despicable behaviour," said Mr Evans.

"People here are absolutely livid about this. It is a subject which is so close to so many people's hearts."

Villagers have now rallied around with a vow that the Royal British Legion will not lose out as a result of the theft.

Businesses plan to hold a massive raffle in the pub at 9pm tonight with all the money going raised going to the Poppy Appeal.

Mr Evans said: "Why should the Legion have to forfeit this money because of this idiot?

"I don't know how much money was in the tin but I would assume by this stage it was a reasonable amount."

The offender in the Cotswolds incidents was white, aged in his late 50s or early 60s and 6ft 2in.

He had grey, collar length hair and was wearing a green wax style country jacket, a flat green cap and blue jumper.

Inspector Owen Hughes, of Gloucestershire police, said: "This is a despicable crime.

"It is hard to comprehend how anyone can think it is acceptable to steal from any charity.

"This money has been donated by people for an incredibly worthy cause and we are committed to finding those individuals responsible."

Anyone recognising the people in the images should contact police on 101.


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  • bonzaharris1  |  November 09 2012, 7:36PM

    The depths to which some people will sink, disgusting.

  • DG9999  |  November 09 2012, 7:30PM

    Nice little job IED clearing in Afghanistan would sort this scumbag out.

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  • IsitJimKerr  |  November 09 2012, 5:22PM

    As has been said, this waste of skin will just get a slap on the wrists. His pic should be plastered all over the front page of all Glos newspapers for a week. If not caught, he should go in a file in all of the national papers for a further week, then on Crimewatch etc. The monetary value will be peanuts, but it's the principle. RBL pay out over £40m every year to ex-forces, for men and women who have given their all, so that @r$£h0|£$ like this can have the freedom to commit such acts. NAME & SHAME HIM!!!!

    |   4
  • nomossystone  |  November 09 2012, 1:58PM

    He looks like a person who wants to be caught -despicable character! Wouldn't forensics find something on the wire he cut through,

  • Bellyflop  |  November 09 2012, 12:40PM

    Great CCTV image, if this piece of sh-t is local it won't be long before he is maned and shamed.

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  • Bev Wallace Artist  |  November 09 2012, 12:24PM

    The sad thing is that there have always been scum who will steal from charities. I worked in a cancer research shop 15 years ago, and we even had people steal the 2nd hand clothes, and it wasn't just young people

    |   2
  • dcfc79  |  November 09 2012, 9:48AM

    This is just disgustng that people feel the need to steal the tin. Most suitable punishment should be experience what its like on the front line for say 4 months.

    |   5
  • BigGeordie1  |  November 09 2012, 9:42AM

    What a despicable act,so this is the depth some people will stoop to, in my once proud country.My grandfather fought in ww1 and father in ww2 and must be turning in their graves.When the culprit is cought, i wish he could be sent to a boot camp and let the military deal with him.

    |   7
  • chr1582  |  November 09 2012, 9:24AM

    Walker i remember those dogs outside shops. I used to love putting some spare change in them and they always used to be there! What's unbelievable is these scumbags will probably get a slap on the wrist for such a crime. My grandad would be turning in his grave to realise he faught in world war 2 to retain britain's freedom and why?? for these t**ts to rob a collection for our amazing servicemen and women. I wonder what their views on Hitler and the nazi's were because it seems they don't appreciate what our armed forces have been through over the past century! I think their punishment should be to be posted out to afghanistan and iraq on the frontline with no training, no uniform and no pay and let them see why we do these collections every year! To me it's as low as paedophilia and that's the lowest of the low!

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  • 2ladybugs  |  November 09 2012, 8:32AM

    At least those photo images are clear, so anybody knowing these people will know what complete a£$&h@)&s these people are and dob them in.

    |   8