This is the moment a lowlife thief was caught on CCTV stealing a charity box from a chip shop containing donations for a children’s hospice.
Footage shows the crook eyeing up the yellow collection pot before ordering fish and chips at around 8.30pm on April 10.
But as the worker turns away at Vale Curry House in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs., the man stashes the tin in his bag – before picking up a lollipop and leaving.
Workers at the fast-food outlet only noticed the box for Donna Louise Children’s Hospice was missing four days later.
They say the tin had around £100 inside after seven months worth of collections and staff released the CCTV to try and track down the thief.
Mo Hussain, who owns the outlet, said: “He only wanted a bag of chips which we thought was a bit odd at the time because normally we deal with large orders.
“We didn’t notice what had happened until the Thursday when someone asked where the box had gone.
“At first we thought it must have dropped on the floor somewhere but then we looked at the CCTV and saw it had been stolen.
“We raised about £150 from the first box we had and this one was almost full too.
“Everybody has been saying that the person who did this is scum.
“We didn’t secure the box to the counter because we never expected anything like this to happen, but we’ve definitely learned some lessons.
“We will continue to collect for charity but we’ll look at getting it chained to the counter this time.”
Vale Curry House staff have raised £50 to replace the stolen money and vowed to match any donations customers pledge this week.
Worker Abdul Munaem said: “The Donna Louise is a charity which is close to everybody’s hearts, so everybody was really generous with their donations.
“We don’t want them to miss out.”
A Donna Louise spokeswoman said: “I know that many of the families who rely on The Donna Louise will have seen or heard about this story and it’s very upsetting for them knowing that money which has been donated to help their children has been stolen.
“The Donna Louise supports hundreds of children and young adults with very serious and complex conditions and it’s saddening that someone could steal vital funds which would contribute to their care.”
Staffordshire Police are now appealing for witnesses to come forward.
A force spokesperson said: “We received a call from the takeaway at 5.45pm on April 14 in relation to the theft of a charity box on the previous Monday.
“We are investigating.”
Anyone with information is asked to call 101 quoting incident 632 of April 14.