Poppy-seller David Bantin was shoved against a wall and robbed of collection tins in a Southsea street.
Police were hunting two men who bundled the 40-year-old into a wall at the side of a house in a ‘despicable’ Armistice Day attack.
Mr Bantin escaped physical injury, but said he was shaken and felt ‘sick as a pig’ by the incident in Sussex Terrace.
One theory was that the thieves saw him collecting for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal, followed him, and pounced in the quiet road when no-one was around.
Mr Bantin was pushed from behind by men who stole one of the two carrier bags he had in his hand.
It contained the two collection tins he had been using.
The other bag contained a box of poppies.