‘Cold hearted’ thief targeted charity box

A poppy collection box was stolen from the Palm Court Hotel, Scarborough, a week before Remembrance Sunday.  Photo by Andrew Higgins 124532c
A poppy collection box was stolen from the Palm Court Hotel, Scarborough, a week before Remembrance Sunday. Photo by Andrew Higgins 124532c

Police are hunting a “cold-hearted” thief who stole a poppy collection box from a Scarborough hotel.

The British Legion tin was swiped from the reception desk of the Palm Court Hotel, in St Nicholas Cliff, at around 1am on Saturday - just a week before Remembrance Sunday.

It comes after a similar theft was committed on Armistice Day last year at the Travelodge, in Nicholas Street.

After CCTV images of the suspect were released, 42-year-old Gary Hide was identified and jailed for eight weeks in January.

Travelodge receptionist Victoria Steel, who was on duty at the time of the incident, was disgusted when she realised someone had taken the collection box.

She said: “I was in the back room when it was taken. When I realised it had gone I rst thought my manager must have moved it. I watched the CCTV back to check and I couldn’t believe it when I saw a man come in a just take the collection.

“I was shocked, and disgusted that someone would not only take it, but take it on Remembrance Sunday.”

Officers have now launched an urgent appeal warning businesses to look out for opportunist thiefs.

Sgt Kevin Dunn, from Scarborough Police, said: “It is disappointing that another theft of this nature has occurred so close to Remembrance Sunday.

“It is unbelievable that people can stoop as low as to steal from a charity which remembers those who lost their lives fighting for this country.

“It is upsetting that we have to appeal to people to keep an eye on their collection boxes because there are cold-hearted individuals out there who think it’s acceptable to steal them.

“Thefts like these are very hurtful to the kind people who give up their time and volunteer to collect money for the Royal British Legion and I can assure them that we are working hard to locate the person responsible for this latest incident.”

Anyone with information should contact Scarborough Police on 101. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.