‘Audacious’ thief takes charity box

A THIEF made off with a charity collection box after distracting post office staff.

Police have branded the theft, which happened at the post office in Symonds Road, Bury St Edmunds, “audacious” and have launched an appeal for information.

The thief, who was in his 20s, went into the post office and asked staff for a form.

A spokeswoman for the police said the man then stole “a charity collection box from the counter and ran out of the store.

“This was an audacious theft of money given by customers to a good cause.

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“Anyone who was in the area at the time and may have seen anything suspicious or recognises the description of the offender should contact Suffolk Police.”

The thief was white, in his early to mid 20s, of slim build and scruffy appearance. He was about 5ft 5in tall with dark straggly hair and wore a dark jacket and jeans.

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It is the latest in a string of unrelated charity box thefts to have occurred in the county. Just last week, it was reported that a charity box left to collect money from the sales of books has twice had its contents stolen.

The thefts happened behind the Old Brewery House in Quay Street, Orford, near Woodbridge, between Tuesday, July 20 and Sunday, August 1.

In June, thieves plundered the cash from a charity collection box in the office of a recycling centre. The incident, in which an unknown amount of cash was taken, happened in Somersham Road, Bramford.

In May, a charity box was stolen from the Castle Inn in Castle Street, Framlingham. The box was subsequently found abandoned nearby – minus most of its cash.

Charity boxes have also been reported stolen from a hairdressers in Hening Avenue, Ipswich, and a bakery in Glastonbury Road, Bury St Edmunds.

Thieves even swiped a charity box raising money for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution from beneath the nose of a parrot called Mr Magoo.

Mr Magoo, who perches on the wall in front of his owner’s house at the southern end of the High Street in Aldeburgh, poses for pictures in exchange for a donation to the life-saving cause. But earlier this year his owner found the box had been stolen. It had about �100 in it.

Anyone with information about the post office theft should call the police’s crime investigation bureau (CIB) on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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