Cowardly trio steal Beer poppy box

PUBLISHED: 10:01 30 November 2008 | UPDATED: 11:46 17 June 2010

STATE of the art CCTV footage is the key in finding the cowardly thieves who stole a poppy appeal box from a shop in Beer. The charity box, containing around £80, was stolen from the Village Store on Friday, November 7 at 6-6.30pm. Two of the men, not

STATE of the art CCTV footage is the key in finding the "cowardly" thieves who stole a poppy appeal box from a shop in Beer.

The charity box, containing around £80, was stolen from the Village Store on Friday, November 7 at 6-6.30pm.

Two of the men, not thought to be from the area, distracted the shopkeeper, while a third stole the box.

Bob Chudley, manager of the Village Store, said: "The three guys came in and had a look around.

"One of them was waiting at the door and it looked like he was going out of the shop but it must have been to make sure no one else was coming in.

"The other two guys were at the counter. One of them bought something and leant across the counter so the other guy behind him could take the box.

"Mel Matthews, who was serving at the time, kept a close eye on them when they came in but they obviously had it down to a fine art."

Mr Chudley only realised the box had been taken the next day when he was checking CCTV footage.

He added: "We have it all on camera and you can clearly see the faces of the men.

"It is disgusting. It's the worst kind of theft and they deserve to be caught."

The men, in their early 20's were travelling to Weymouth from Exeter on the X53 bus but had been told by the bus driver to get off at Beer because they were being disruptive. After the incident they took a local taxi to Seaton.

Steve Speariett, neighbour beat manager, said: "We have recovered CCTV which shows the suspects. Photographs of the suspects have been obtained and have been circulated in order to try and identify the offenders. We are also following up a number of leads.

"With regards the theft, the offenders have no respect for the sacrifice that service men and women made, and continue to make, it was a cowardly offence and we will do everything possible to bring the offenders to justice."

Anyone with information should contact the police on 08452 777444 quoting crime reference number KS/08/647.

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