‘Lowest of the low’ thief swipes Christmas lights collection tubs from Honiton Tesco

PUBLISHED: 12:09 06 September 2018

Two collection boxes for Honiton's Christmas lights appeal were lifted from Honiton Tesco. Main image: Google Maps.

Two collection boxes for Honiton's Christmas lights appeal were lifted from Honiton Tesco. Main image: Google Maps.

Archant

A callous thief has swiped two festive fundraising tubs, belonging to Honiton’s Christmas lights committee, from the town’s Tesco superstore.

It’s a fresh blow for the committee, which earlier this week revealed it was still £1,000 away from achieving its £5,000 target needed to kit Honiton out with an impressive array of festive lights.

The collection tubs thought to hold around £100 in cash were taken from the store’s foyer, where a charitable book sale is currently being staged, at 7pm on Wednesday (September 5).

Duncan Sheridan-Shaw, Honiton’s Christmas lights committee chairman and community manager for Honiton Tesco, said: “This kind of theft is the lowest of the low - to steal from a community that is just trying to do some good.

“Tesco customers have stumped up around £250 in supporting this book fayre, which has been a big percentage of the money that we have raised so far.

“We rely on Tesco customers’ donations and people bringing in their books, knowing that the money raised will be going towards the Christmas lights.

“Where people cannot donate money, they are donating their time, and books.”

Mr Sheridan-Shaw said the offender, described as wearing dark clothes, including a hooded jacket, came equipped to carry out the thefts as the buckets were chained up. He added: “He obviously brought something to snip them with. He doesn’t seem to be anyone local, from what we have seen from the CCTV.”

Mr Sheridan-Shaw is now calling on people to continue to supporting the festive lights campaign, which has so far raised just shy of £4,000, but needs to raise £1,000 more by November.

He warned that should all of the money not be raised, Honiton could be forced to hold a ‘reduced’ lights display this year.

Mr Sheridan-Shaw added: “There are big chains in Honiton, that shoppers are supporting, who are not donating. I am calling on them to refresh their ideas, as I contacted them before to see if they would donate to our appeal.

“They are only donating towards the big charities - they do not donate towards local causes.

“These big charities do not make as much of a difference to the people in our community.”

Those who want to support the lights campaign can contact Mr Sheridan-Shaw via his Twitter.

A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police said: “Officers have been notified of the theft of two charity boxes from Tesco (Battishorne Way) on Wednesday, September 5, between 6pm and 7pm.

“It was reported that the two boxes that were on a table in the foyer of the store had been taken.

“Anyone who witnessed the incident or has any information is asked to contact police on 101@dc.police.uk or call 101 quoting CR/081876/18.”

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