HEARTLESS thieves have stolen cash destined for charities from two shops and a vet’s surgery in Southsea.
Collection tins and boxes were taken from Care for Cats, in Highland Road, the Grove Veterinary Surgery, in Elm Grove, and the Oxfam shop in Osborne Road.
Police described the thefts as ‘particularly callous crimes’ and shop staff reacted with disgust.
The manager of Care for Cats, Angela Foskett, said it was hard to believe anyone could help themselves to money intended for charity.
‘How much of a low-life do you have to be to do this?’ she said. ‘We’re even angry with ourselves for not seeing it happen.
‘I thought one of the customers looked like he was up to something, then we turned our backs and a moment later the jar was gone.
‘The woman who runs this charity does brilliant things for cats here and abroad, it’s absolutely disgusting to just steal what people have donated.’
Mrs Foskett said the charity jar – which contained around £20 – was a very distinctive red, white and black round ceramic pot.
The theft happened at some time between 2pm and 2.30pm on Monday July 4 and the suspect was white, in his 30s, slim, about 6ft, with a shaved head and a local accent. He wore a burgundy top and blue jeans.
Shortly after 2.30pm, Grove Veterinary Surgery also had its charity pot stolen, which contained around £30.
Then some time after 3pm, police believe the thief struck a third time in the Oxfam shop in Osborne Road, taking a tin containing around £18.
Mike Myall, who works in the charity shop, said: ‘It’s shocking, I can’t believe it really. He must have been really hard up to steal a charity pot.’
Hampshire Police spokeswoman Sally Adams said: ‘These are particularly callous crimes.
While it may not seem that a lot of money has been taken, stealing from charity is particularly low.
‘As part of our investigations we would like to hear from anyone who saw anyone acting suspiciously in any of these premises at the time of the offences, or from any other charities who believe they may also have been targeted.
‘Any piece of information, no matter how small, could be vital in helping us identify who has committed these callous offences.’
Anyone with information can call Fratton police station on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.