A Northampton shopkeeper has been left “completely devastated” and “very, very angry” after a hooded man allegedly stole a poppy appeal box belonging to the Royal British Legion.
The newsagent, who does not wish to be named, was working at Costcutter on Weedon Road in St James afwhen a man entered the convenience store and allegdly stole between £45-£50 of UK armed forces charity money
The shopkeeper, who was covering the shift for his son, told the Chronicle & Echo that the incident happened in a split second when he had his back slightly turned.
The Costcutter employee said: “A guy came in and had his hood up, he looked around the shop at around 5.50am and came to the counter wanting to buy The Sun newspaper, a packet of cigarettes and a bottle of wine.
“He looked suspicious, he told me he that he left his wallet in the back of his car and came back in 15 minutes later asking to buy a packet of cigarettes.”
The newsagent, who was standing behind the counter at the time, was looking away when the man is seen grabbing the collection pot and ran out of the store.
He adds:“It is so heartless, these people have given their lives and so much commitment. I’m very very angry in a way and completely devastated. Some people have no shame at all.”
The incident took place on Tuesday, November 8 just before 6am.
A Royal British Legion spokesperson said: “We are shocked and saddened to hear of the alleged theft of a poppy collecting tin.
“This loss will deprive those in the service and ex-service community and their families of much-needed assistance and support from the Legion.”
Honorary Poppy Appeal Organiser for Northampton Town, Vaughn Glynn told the Chron: “With reference to this alleged theft all I am able to say is that the police have been informed and that I consider that to steal any charity collection tin a deplorable action.
The newsagent reported the incident to police and appeal has gone out for any information about the man wanted in connection with the incident. A spokeswoman for Northamptonshire police said: “We did receive a report of theft of a poppy appeal box yesterday just before 6am from the Costcutter store.”
Witnesses or anybody with information can call police on 101.