1. ITV Report

Police appeal after string of poppy collection box thefts

  • Watch Emma Wilkinson's report

Police are appealing for information after a spate of thefts of Poppy Appeal collection boxes on Remembrance Sunday.

Police say between 9am and 3pm two women entered the Spar shop in Andover Road, Ludgershall, and removed a charity box from the counter. It is believed the box contained around £150.

In a similar incident, two women entered the One Stop shop in North Street, Wilton on the same day. While one of them distracted staff, the second stole the Poppy Appeal tin from the counter.

On the same day, a Poppy Appeal box was taken from a McColl's convenience store in Andover, Hampshire. CCTV shows a woman waiting until a member of staff is distracted before grabbing the tin and leaving the shop. It's believed all three thefts are linked.

Natalie Heald was working behind the counter at the Spar shop in Ludgershall on the day.

Two women captured on CCTV in Spar shop on Andover Road

There were two ladies. One of the ladies walked to the alcohol and asked me a question about the chocolate Baileys. I kneeled down to explain we didn't have any chocolate Baileys and I turned back around. She paid for her chocolates and then they both left the store. And it was the other lady that had taken the pot.

– Natalie Heald, shop assistant

Business development manager of the store, Susan Connolly, said she could hardly believe her eyes when she saw the footage.

I was out with my Grandad doing a Remembrance service because he served in the war and I get back to the store and someone has stolen the poppy appeal which is for our veterans - I was absolutely enraged. So I took to Facebook straight away and it just spiralled from there. We've had 155,000 likes on the page and over a thousand shares. People are just enraged.

– Susan Connolly, manager

Officers say they are carrying out extensive enquiries to identify those responsible. Anyone with information should contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111