Prison for poppy collection thief

editorial image

A “DESPICABLE” thief who stole a poppy collection box on Remembrance Sunday has been sent to prison.

Gary Hide, 41, of South Street, is serving an eight-week prison sentence after appearing before Scarborough magistrates.

He pleaded guilty to charges of burglary other than a dwelling, theft from a shop, and theft by walk in.

One of the charges related to the theft on November 13, when Hide walked in to the Travelodge, in St Nicholas Street, and took the British Legion collection tin from the reception desk.

He was caught on CCTV, and on November 28 police released the images in a bid to track Hide down.

Speaking at the time Kevin Dunn, of Scarborough Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “This was a quite despicable offence, which took place on the day when the whole of the nation stood still to remember those who have lost their lives or suffered injuries in various conflicts around the world.”

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 first 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.”

Hide was eventually found and arrested on December 30.

He appeared at Scarborough Magistrates Court on January 4 where he was sentenced to eight weeks custody in relation to all three offences.

Commenting on the sentencing Sgt Dunn added: “I welcome the custodial sentence Hide has received. It should send the very clear message that anyone committing crime against our communities that they will be dealt with robustly and, where appropriate, will be put be before the courts so that they can face the consequences of their actions.”