Bury St Edmunds pub landlord speaks of ‘upsetting’ Christmas Day charity collection theft

The Black Boy pub Landlord Mark Eames is furious after thieves stole his charity collection pot. Pic

The Black Boy pub Landlord Mark Eames is furious after thieves stole his charity collection pot. Picture: ARCHANT

A Bury St Edmunds landlord has spoken of an “upsetting” theft which saw two charity boxes stolen from his pub on Christmas Day.

The Black Boy pub, Bury St Edmunds. Picture: ARCHANT

The Black Boy pub, Bury St Edmunds. Picture: ARCHANT

Mark Eames, 68, landlord of The Black Boy, in Guildhall Street, said the burglary took place as he went upstairs to eat his Christmas dinner between 8pm and 9pm.

The suspect got in through an unlocked door and stole a large glass whisky bottle – containing around £400 in cash – by ripping it off the metal chain which secured it to the bar.

A second plastic collection box for the East Anglian Air Ambulance, estimated to be holding between £30-£60, was also stolen.

Mr Eames said the collection in the large whiskey bottle - which had been in the pub for around 26 years, was part of yearly fund which is donated to local charities.

The Black Boy pub Landlord Mark Eames is furious after thieves stole his charity collection pot. Pic

The Black Boy pub Landlord Mark Eames is furious after thieves stole his charity collection pot. Picture: ARCHANT

The 2017 chosen charity – Prostate Cancer UK – was particularly close to Mr Eames’ heart after he was diagnosed with the condition last year.

Mr Eames, who has been landlord of the town centre pub for nearly 20 years, said: “It’s quite upsetting really.

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“The gallon whiskey bottle has been on the bar for about 25/26 years and every year we do a collection for local charities and put money in every week.

“We chose Prostate Cancer after I was diagnosed and there was probably about £400 in there.

“Even more sickening was the air ambulance box. I only have a couple of charity boxes and people like to give to the air ambulance.

“It’s absolutely terrible, and I’m gutted that I didn’t lock the door. I will have been here for 20 years this August and that is the first time I’ve never locked it.

“I’d just gone upstairs to have my Christmas dinner.”

Mr Eames added that he is hopeful that police may catch the person responsible after viewing CCTV footage.

“I’ve seen the CCTV from next door,” he said. “It was one man in his late 20s or 30s, around 5ft 10in. The police are going to have a look as well.

“It must be someone local and someone must know who it is.”

Anyone with knowledge of the incident should call Suffolk police on 101, quoting 37/81634/17 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Alternatively, visit the Crimestoppers website at www.crimestoppers-uk.org and complete an online form.

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