Anger as thieves snatch pub’s char­ity cash

Accrington Observer - - FRONT PAGE - STE­FAN JA­JECZNYK ste­fan.ja­jecznyk@reach­plc.com @sja­jecznykMEN

APUB land­lord has hit out at ‘de­spi­ca­ble’ thieves who stole char­ity boxes con­tain­ing hun­dreds of pounds.

The do­nated money was stolen from the Old Eng­land For­ever pub on Church Street in Clay­tonle-Moors in the early hours of Sun­day, June 17.

The boxes were es­ti­mated to have con­tained be­tween £200 and £300 - they had been on the bar and were reg­u­larly used by pun­ters who of­ten chipped in.

Land­lord John Hodgkiss says all his reg­u­lar cus­tomers were an­gry and up­set about the theft.

He said: “It’s de­spi­ca­ble the fact they’ve stolen char­ity boxes that peo­ple have do­nated money for that’s going to peo­ple that are a lot worse off than any­one else.

“We’ve had break-ins be­fore but no­body has ever taken char­ity boxes.

“There is a sort of ‘hon­our amongst thieves’ that they don’t take char­ity boxes, but what can you do? Do you chain them down to the bar?

“That doesn’t seem right to me - you don’t ex­pect them to be stolen.

“The one for the hospice was full, and I know full well there were notes and large change in there.

“I think around 200 or 300 pounds in to­tal - which is a lot of money for those char­i­ties.”

The pub was rais­ing money for the Clay­ton Box­ing Club, the East Lan­cashire Hospice and Laura’s Wish. John says that the pub’s World Cup sweep­stake prize of £140 had been taken as well as the do­na­tion boxes.

He said: “We have had a sweep­stake for the World Cup and that’s gone too.

“Peo­ple have said if their team wins, they’ll just put that amount back into the char­ity box.”

John said the char­ity boxes, which are now with the po­lice, were found on a nearby street a few yards from the pub.

The boxes had been emp­tied of cash and had been dumped along­side some of the cop­per coins and small change that was still in­side them.

Po­lice said the ‘de­spi­ca­ble’ theft took place be­tween 1am and 7.30am af­ter of­fend­ers broke in through a kitchen win­dow.

A spokesper­son for Lan­cashire po­lice said: “Four char­ity boxes were stolen con­tain­ing hun- dreds of pounds for lo­cal char­i­ties. The empty char­ity boxes have been re­cov­ered and en­quiries are on­go­ing to iden­tify the of­fend­ers.

“I have no doubt we will catch those re­spon­si­ble, how­ever if you have any in­for­ma­tion please call 101 quot­ing Log LC-20180617-0423.”

John Hodgkiss, land­lord of the Old Eng­land For­ever pub in Clay­ton-le-Moors (in­set) said his reg­u­lars were an­gry and up­set about the char­ity box theft

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