‘Carol singers’ steal Teresa’s Christ­mas lights char­ity cash

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Front Page - By STEPHEN BRIGGS stephen.briggs@pe­ter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk

SCROOGES who stole a char­ity col­lec­tion bucket from a fam­ily’s Christ­mas lights dis­play have been branded ‘the low­est of the low’.

The col­lec­tion, for the East Anglian Air Am­bu­lance, had been raised by Teresa and Gary El­dred at their Full­bridge Road home in, New Eng­land, Peter­bor­ough us­ing their spec­tac­u­lar ar­ray of Christ­mas lights.

It was taken by two women and a young child pos­ing as carol singers on Mon­day, De­cem­ber 12 and even hap­pened af­ter Mr El­dred had given the group money for their own col­lec­tion.

The bucket was full with a week’s do­na­tions, af­ter fam­i­lies trav­elled from across the city to see the tra­di­tional fes­tive dis­play, which has raised more than £1,000 in four years. The stolen bucket has now been re­placed, and is be­ing emp­tied ev­ery day,

To­day Mrs El­dred (41), said she was ‘dis­gusted’ by the trio’s ac­tions.

She said: “We were at home when there was a knock on the door at 6.45pm. There were two ladies and a young lad at the door, and the lad started singing. They said they were rais­ing money for Eye Church.

“My hus­band said we are also col­lect­ing for char­ity, and asked them to do­nate if we do­nated.

“He pointed to where the bucket was, and gave them £1.

“I was watch­ing through the win­dow when the lad picked up the bucket and ran.

“My hus­band went out and saw them get­ting into a red Toy­ota Hilux near the den­tist, be­fore it drove off.

“He was not able to get the num­ber plate, but he thinks it is an 06 plate.

“They are the low­est of the low. What they have done is dis­gust­ing.

“I am con­cerned they are us­ing the bucket to say they are col­lect­ing for the am­bu­lance, but tak­ing the money them­selves.

“We have done this col­lec­tion for four or five years now, af­ter my par­ents used to do some­thing sim­i­lar.”

Chris Don­ald­son, Area Fundrais­ing Man­ager for East Anglian Air Am­bu­lance, said: “It’s a great shame for Teresa El­dred and her fam­ily who have given the char­ity such great sup­port for many years through do­na­tions from their Christ­mas lights dis­play. This time of year is al­ways one where peo­ple find they have less money to spare to char­i­ties and ev­ery penny we re­ceive re­ally does make a dif­fer­ence.

“It makes it es­pe­cially dis­ap­point­ing that peo­ple have made an ex­tra spe­cial ef­fort to do­nate to us over Christ­mas and we won’t be re­ceiv­ing that money; funds which a lifesaving char­ity re­ally does need.”

One of the women was de­scribed as white, about 5ft 3ins, with long brown hair tied back and wear­ing a white jacket, scarf and lights around her neck.

The sec­ond was white, about 5ft 6ins, of heavy build, with long blonde hair, in her mid to late 30s, and was wear­ing a pale jacket, scarf and lights around her neck.

The boy was de­scribed as white, chunky with short dark hair and was wear­ing a dark coat.

Any­one with in­for­ma­tion should con­tact po­lice on 101, or Crimestop­pers, anony­mously, 0800 555111.

Shocked: Teresa El­dred out­side her home in New Eng­land where a char­ity col­lec­tion bucket was stolen

Stolen: The re­place­ment bucket

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