Thieves steal Poppy Appeal box from Lidl suppermarket in Willerby
THIEVES who stole a Poppy Appeal collection box have been described as "lower than low".
The collection box, which was taken from Lidl in Willerby, is thought to have contained up to £100 in donations for war veterans.
PC Andy White, of the Willerby and Kirk Ella neighbourhood policing team, said: "It is terrible to steal from charity at any time of the year but it is lower than low to do this.
"We would really like to find the person who is responsible for this theft."
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Clive Learmonth, a volunteer for the Royal British Legion, set up the supermarket display ahead of this year's appeal.
The collection box had been in the store for just a day when it was stolen on November 5.
Mr Learmonth said: "I went to Lidl to empty the box and it had disappeared. I couldn't believe it.
"It is disgusting. We are a charity looking after wounded and disabled servicemen and women and have the nation behind us.
"The staff at the store were really distressed when they found out what had happened. They feel terrible that they didn't stop it from happening."
Mr Learmonth helps organise and count collections from Willerby, Kirk Ella and Anlaby every year. Last year, almost £30,000 was raised between the villages – a target volunteers were hoping to surpass this year.
"There might not have been much in the box, but this is a blow," said Mr Learmonth.
"These small villages often raise one of the highest amounts in the area, for a great charity. We have always done really well from that Lidl store.
"The legion is a wonderful charity and one I am proud to be part of.
"We would really like anyone who knows anything about what happened to get in touch with the police."
The box was unmanned as part of a display in the store, which Mr Learmonth set up on November 4.
After the theft was discovered, the area manager for Lidl donated £30 to the appeal.
Officers have checked CCTV from inside the Great Gutter Lane shop but have been unable to find the theft on camera.
PC White said: "Without CCTV, we are really struggling, so we want anyone with information about this to come forward.
"It could be someone who saw the theft, or witnessed anything suspicious in the store. Perhaps they have heard the person who stole the box talking about it.
"Whatever it is, it could help us find whoever has done this."
Police believe the box could have been stolen between 6.30pm on November 4 and 5pm on November 5.
A spokesman for Lidl said: "We were extremely disappointed the Poppy Appeal collection box was stolen. We have donated £30 to the appeal to cover any donations made by our customers and staff."
Anyone with information about the theft should call police on 01482 307213, quoting reference number 1940152.