Thieves steal cash from Help for Heroes

Malcolm Garbutt has been selling Help for Heroes merchandise inside the Meridian Centre in Havant
Malcolm Garbutt has been selling Help for Heroes merchandise inside the Meridian Centre in Havant
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THIEVES stole cash meant for injured servicemen and women from a volunteer.

Malcolm Garbutt spends three days a week selling Help for Heroes merchandise from a stall in the Meridian Centre, Havant.

On Saturday he noticed £120 in notes had been taken, despite the cash being secured in a suitcase next to him.

He is furious that someone would steal from a charity.

He said: ‘They would have had to be really swift to have got it out without me noticing.

‘I only turned my back for a few moments and it was gone.

‘My wife and I believe someone must have been watching the stall for a while.

‘It really makes my blood boil. If it had been my money I could accept it but this is for blokes who have had their limbs blown off.

‘Whoever did this gives scum a bad name.’

It happened between midday and 1pm on Saturday. CCTV cameras were not trained on the stall at the time.

Mr Garbutt has been manning the stall for nearly two-and-a-half years and has raised more than £40,000 for the charity which supports injured war veterans.

This is despite the 64-year-old being registered disabled because of chronic back problems.

In October Mr Garbutt, of Sea Front, Hayling Island, was honoured with a medal from the charity for his voluntary work.

Mr Garbutt added: ‘When we telephoned Help for Heroes they said unfortunately it’s not unusual and this sort of thing happens.

‘I’d like to send the culprits out to Afghanistan and see how they get on.

‘Do these people have no conscience? If they do I want to appeal to them directly to give the money back.

‘I don’t care how they do it, through a friend or just leave it on the stall. But they should think about what they’ve done and give it back.’

A spokesman for Havant police said: ‘At 2pm on Saturday, February 2, police received a report of a theft at the Meridian Centre in West Street, Havant.

‘The theft took place at around 12.30pm. Approximately £120 in cash was reported stolen from a tray that was behind a Help For Heroes stall in the centre.’

Anyone with information should call Havant police on 101 quoting Operation Bricklin. Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 101.