Poppy tin snatch by girl age 11

Julie Wilby and Deborah Robinson at Mytholmroyd Community Centre, where poppy appeal and Help for Heroes cellections were stolen at Julie's 40th birthday party.
Julie Wilby and Deborah Robinson at Mytholmroyd Community Centre, where poppy appeal and Help for Heroes cellections were stolen at Julie's 40th birthday party.
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PARTYGOERS confronted a girl of 11 after she stole a Poppy Day collection tin containing around £100.

The box was snatched from Mytholmroyd Community Centre, Halifax, where Julie Wilby was raising money as part of her 40th birthday celebrations.

She said the girl got inside by claiming her parents were at the party – then took the cash,

“It’s disgusting,” said Mrs Wilby, manageress at the centre. “I’m just appalled. It shows a total lack of respect.”

Guests challenged the girl in the car park but she claimed she had thrown the box away.

Despite a search, it has not been found.

Mrs Wilby said she wanted to use her milestone birthday celebrations as a way of collecting money for charity. As it coincided with Remembrance weekend, she decided to have a poppy collection box, collecting for The Royal British Legion.

She also had a donation tin at the bar, which raised £150 for Help for Heroes.

“I had to explain to the man who came to collect the poppy box what had happened,” said Mrs Wilby.

“He said it has happened before but that’s not the point. It’s despicable.”

Another callous thief stole a military cap from a Remembrance Day display in a charity shop.

The theft, which was not reported to police, left former serviceman Paul Greenwood sickened.

Mr Greenwood, 45, is deputy manager of the RSPCA’s Queen’s Road branch in Halifax.

He was a military instructor and served with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) from 1989 to 2000.

“The drill square cap has no inherent value to anyone but it is part of my history and has sentimental value,” he said.

“I have taught more than 600 recruits wearing that cap and it means a lot to me.”

Mr Greenwood, of Ovenden, Halifax, said shop staff wanted a window display to remind people of the sacrifice made by others during conflicts and it also included books and uniform.

He is now hoping the thief will reconsider his/her actions and anonymously return the cap and badge to the shop.

Sergeant Damon Walker, from the Upper Valley neighbourhood policing team, said: “Offences like this are particularly upsetting those responsible have taken advantage of the good will of local people who have donated money for a worthy cause.

“It is unacceptable if people are then stealing for their own gain.”

He said inquiries are ongoing and action will be taken against anyone responsible.

Anyone who has information about the theft, which happened between 10.30pm and 11pm on Saturday, should call PC Lisa McDonald from the Upper Valley neighbourhood policing team on 0845 6060606 or Crimestoppers, where information can be passed on anonymously, on 0800 555111,