A chip shop owner has blasted a ‘shameful’ burglar who smashed his way in to the shop to steal a charity box helping sick children.
Shocking CCTV footage has been released by police showing the incident at the Abbey Friar Chip Shop in Accrington at around 1.50am on Sunday, September 11.
The unknown offender is shown trying to kick down the front door before hurling a large stone through a window, causing £800 worth of damage. Once inside he then steals the Sunny Days Children’s Fund collection box, before fleeing.
The charity raises funds for under 18s with a wide range of medical conditions, including leukaemia, deafness, blindness, cerebral palsy, and terminal illnesses.
Zeki Muhsen, who runs the chippy with his father Muhsen Muhsen, said he was ‘shocked and appalled’ by the CCTV footage.
He told the Observer: “We are devastated by what’s happened and the amount of damage that’s been caused for such a small theft as well. It was a big rock that was thrown through the window and it was thrown with such force that it damaged a floor and wall tile.
“It’s a shameful act, especially to steal from a children’s charity.”
Zeki, 27, said they arrived at the chip shop on Sunday morning and discovered the broken window.
He said: “At first we were confused because we didn’t know if it was caused by drunken vandals on Saturday night. It wasn’t until that we reviewed the CCTV footage ourselves and saw what happened.
“I think he must have seen the charity box on the end of the counter as he was walking past. He tried the door handle at first and then two minutes later came back and tried to kick through the door. He then came back again with the rock.
“It’s possible that could have been a previous customer but there is no way of knowing.
“We have been collecting money for the children’s charity since we started here two years ago.
"I couldn’t say exactly how much was in the box, but when it is full it could only hold about £5 or £6.
"We do a lot of things for charity and we will continue to do that, but we won’t be keeping any more collections on the premises. This has put us off doing that.”
Anyone with information regarding the incident should call PC Graham Hartley or PCSO James Southworth at the local Accrington Town Centre teamcon 01254 353103 quoting log number LC-20160911-0202 or crime reference ED1613867.