A chip shop owner says thieves stooped to a new low after breaking into his shop and stealing a charity box.
Jeff Armstrong’s business The Chip Pan in Garswood was broken into in the early hours of Monday morning by a masked thief, who made off with one of the tills.
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But Jeff, 72, was disgusted to find that the shop’s charity box, which was full of money being collected for The Christie, had also been snatched.
“I wasn’t bothered about the till,” said Jeff.
“It’s just the fact that a lowlife has stolen our charity box.
“We collect quite a bit over the whole year for The Christie. I have no idea how much was in there but it could have been a lot. But it’s the act itself, rather than the amount taken, which is why we were quite upset.”
Jeff alerted police to the break-in after arriving at the Station Road chippy on Monday morning to find the bottom panel of the front door had been bashed in.
After checking CCTV, he found that a lone, cold-hearted raider had crawled into the shop shortly before 4am, while a getaway driver waited outside.
After spotting the cameras, the thief returned to the vehicle, which then circled the street several times, returning after realising that nobody had been alerted to the crime.
He then helped himself to the cash register closest to the door, as well as the cancer charity box, which was last emptied in November.
Unfortunately, the CCTV images were not clear enough to make out a car model or registration number.
Jeff, who runs The Chip Pan with daughter Jane, said: “I’ve owned it for 30 years, and it’s the first time in 30 years that this has happened.
“To be honest, they’ve not taken much. They didn’t even take a drink from the fridge. There was probably only about £10 in the till. It’s not the value of anything, I’m just sad about how low people are stooping to by stealing charity boxes.”
But Jeff said his staff were undeterred by the unnerving incident.
“We opened straight up again after phoning the police. It (the charity box) will be back again. The Christie is one of our pet charities, so we won’t be deterred.”
Last November, a vile thief was also caught on camera stealing a Poppy Appeal tin from a Wigan shop.
Staff at Gee-Tee’s in Orsmkirk Road, Pemberton, was targeted by an intruder who fled the scene with a collection tin.
Anyone with information on either incidents should call police on 101, or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111