Pendleside Hospice is appealing for people to keep on giving, despite at least two of their collecting boxes being stolen in Burnley in recent weeks.
The hospice has about 450 of the red collecting boxes out in shops, pubs, doctors’ surgeries and businesses, but in recent weeks some have cut from their security ties and taken.
A thief struck at Yorkshire Street Medical Centre on November 20th, taking a box almost filled with £1 coins. This week a partially filled box was taken from Bailey and Garrett Chemists in Rosegrove Lane. Both boxes had been secured but the thief managed to cut through the security ties. It is also believed a newsagent’s shop in Padiham Road has been targeted but this has not been reported to the hospice.
On both occasions the culprit was captured on CCTV and police informed, but Dr Paul Hartley from the Yorkshire Street surgery said police had still not been to view the CCTV footage.
Dr Hartley said: “We spoke to the police and said we had CCTV evidence of the guy and they said they would send someone. We have rung them again but still no-one has been. We feel that the other thefts could possibly have been prevented if the police had acted because we think it’s the same person. I’m very disappointed with the police.”
The police were contacted by the Express but no-one has responded to Dr Hartley’s concerns.
Carol Livesey of Bailey and Garrett’s chemists said they were disgusted by this week’s theft.
Kaye Bartle, fund-raising manager for Pendleside Hospice, said Christmas was a desperate time for some people who would resort to such a desperate measure as stealing from a charity box. But she added that charities relied on these boxes too and she did not want people to stop dropping their spare coins into them.
The hospice relies heavily on the income from the collecting boxes around Burnley and Pendle and she urged business owners to exercise caution.
All the boxes are security sealed and have security ties, but if a thief is desperate enough he will try to take them. “I’d like to reassure the public that these are not common occurrences and the money they put into the collecting boxes does go towards patient care.”