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